May 25, 2019

After an intense debate and suspenseful moments, legislation that could substantially reduce the number of new charter schools in California got just enough votes to pass the Assembly this week — with lead author Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach, promising amendments to satisfy skeptics, but the legislation is still a long way from becoming law. We play excerpts from the debate and discuss prospects for AB 1505’s  passage.

We also interview Tom Epstein, president of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors, which last week extended Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley’s contract through 2023. Coming a week after a vote of no confidence by a community college faculty association, the board’s vote signaled for support in Oakley’s leadership and in reforms that he has championed. They include a sharp reduction in remedial courses, the creation of a new online college and a funding formula for the system’s 114 colleges partially based on students’ success.

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