We are writing today with important and urgent information about California Assembly Bill 1316, a piece of legislation under consideration in Sacramento that would have a tremendously negative impact on all our schools and programs. It's critical to make our voices heard on this matter by the end of today.
Assembly member Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) recently amended AB 1316, a bill that would impose a vast array of new restrictions and costs on California’s public charter schools. The 88-page bill contains a massive number of provisions that would negatively impact all charter schools. Among other troubling provisions in this proposed legislation, the amount of state money spent on your non-classroom-based learner’s education will be 70 cents on the dollar compared to a student enrolled at a traditional public school.
While some of the most impactful are targeted at non-classroom-based schools, all iLEAD California schools and programs would be negatively impacted. For example, our iLEAD Hybrid program serves nearly 3,800 students across five counties. Under this proposed legislation, half of our learners and their families would be immediately displaced. That’s nearly 1,900 families whose educational home will be upended by this proposed legislation.
Also, our Empower Generations program – which serves pregnant and parenting teens to ensure they complete high school while caring for their children – will be devastated by this proposed legislation. The school currently serves dozens of students – and has hundreds of alumni – and AB 1316 will likely force us to shutter the entire school and program, thereby leaving some of our most vulnerable learners without a program that suits their needs.
Last year, when many students were left without quality distance learning programs during the COVID-19 pandemic, our iLEAD Online program served nearly 200 additional learners — doubling our enrollment without a dime of compensation from the state — to ensure they had the stellar education they deserve. iLEAD Online dipped into limited reserve funds and made drastic cuts in other areas — including pay and hiring freezes — for one main reason: It was the right thing to do.
If you’d like to share your thoughts on this matter with lawmakers today, here is an option:
Make your voices heard to your California State Senate and assembly committee members by sending a customized, thoughtful letter describing your school. You can pick and choose what you talk about, but here are some ideas:
Talk about your favorite things about your school, your facilitators and staff.
Share about our projects and assessments that ensure your learners are on track academically.
Share about the importance of our iLEAD California community and the support our school offers your family.
Share personal experiences that illustrate how your learners have thrived in our model.
If your legislators are among the seven who currently serve on the committee, we ask that you submit a similar letter to them as well (all have “contact me” or similar features on their individual websites).
As always, we are humbled by this incredible iLEAD California community. We are so incredibly grateful for your dedication to your learners and our schools. Thank you so much for your support during this challenging time. Please let us know if you have any questions or feedback.
Dawn Evenson, Founder/CEO, iLEAD California
Amanda Fischer, Executive Director, iLEAD California
Amber Golden, Founder, iLEAD California
P.S. Want your voice to be heard? Feel free to copy and paste the following email list into the BCC bar on your email. You can attach a letter or write an email.