November 2012 Message to Members from Jed Wallace

November 15, 2012

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JedWallaceSmall.jpg The power of collective action is a credo the charter school movement keenly understands as evidenced by the results of the November elections, a recent rally in Los Angeles and the number of new charter schools opening in the state this year.

Across the state, members engaged as never before in non-partisan efforts to register voters and to educate school communities on key ballot measures in addition to working on their own time to support important races at the local, county and state levels. From the passage of Governor Brown's Proposition 30, to the monumental win in San Diego with the passage of the Proposition Z facilities bond, to wins in key races for school boards in Oakland and Santa Clara County, to charter supporters being elected to the Assembly, the November 2012 election results are a clear indication of the kind of impact we can have as a movement when we work together.

On November 13 in Los Angeles, our ability to impact real time decision making was vividly demonstrated as 1,500 plus parents and charter school supporters rallied with Families that Can to defeat LAUSD Board Member Steve Zimmer's resolution to limit parent choice. Our collective action not only prevented the resolution from passing but also demonstrated our movement's ability to mobilize thousands of parents in support of charter school students.

And while these wins are impressive, nothing was more inspiring this year than the continued momentum of new schools opening. California saw 109 new charter schools opening their doors at the beginning of the school year bringing the total number of charter schools in California to 1,065 and cementing California as the leader for the largest number of charters in any state in the country. California charter student enrollment grew more than 17% in 2012-13 so that charters now serve more than 484,083 students statewide. Despite intense funding, facilities and authorizing challenges faced by charter schools, heroic efforts are being made by charter leaders, teachers and staff to expand, replicate and open new schools to meet the unrelenting parent demand for better educational options for their children.

Buoyed by our incredible growth, election wins and the LA rally, our collective action will continue to be instrumental in our efforts to maintain and indeed increase our movement's momentum. If you have not already signed up your school to participate in Families that Can, please consider doing so. The more active parents and charter school supporters involved in these efforts, the greater an impact our collective action can have.

Jed Wallace
President and CEO
California Charter Schools Association

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