Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) Pulls Draft Charter School Regulation from April Agenda

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March 17, 2014 As we reported to you at the conference last week, staff at the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has been working on a regulation to govern the application of the to charter schools, charter school management organizations and educational management organizations. CCSA representatives spoke at the FPPC's Interested Persons meeting in February to object to the draft regulation for a variety of reasons. We are pleased to report that FPPC staff is taking more time to consider the regulation, and has removed it from the Commission's April agenda.

By way of reminder, the Political Reform Act is the comprehensive conflict of interest law that applies to state and local government agencies. In general, it requires: (1) agencies to adopt a Conflict of Interest Code, (2) agency officials to file a Statement of Economic Interest (Form 700), and (3) agency officials to disclose and disqualify from participating in certain governmental decisions.

We continue to maintain that the Act does not apply to all charter schools and that application of the Act and its regulations, as currently drafted, is problematic for charter schools for a number of reasons. At the Interested Persons meeting in February, we suggested to FPPC staff that the timing is not right for the adoption of a regulation, given that AB 913 and ballot initiatives governing conflicts of interest had been proposed. We also provided numerous examples of how implementing the draft regulation would be problematic for the nonprofit corporations that operate or are associated with a charter school.

CCSA will continue to work to delay the regulation until we have clarity from the Legislature on the application of the Political Reform Act. We will also continue our efforts to inform the FPPC about the implementation problems associated with the draft regulation and work to improve the regulation should the FPPC staff decide to move forward. We will keep you updated on the status of this matter as it develops. If you have any questions, please contact governmentaffairs@ccsa.org.