June 2015 CEO Message

July 7, 2015

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Congratulations on yet another successful school year. California's charter schools are providing parents with peace of mind, knowing their child is in a high-performing school environment.

The public has never been more supportive of charter schools than they are right now based on growth in charter school enrollment, waitlist numbers, and polling data. Charter school students, teachers, administrators and parents frequently declare that their charter schools provide the sense of community they desperately desire. Thank you for being beacons of hope for families across the state in need of options.

I am happy to share that I will spend the next four months on sabbatical with my wife and kids in Spain. I am very thankful to have this opportunity to travel with my family, reenergize and practice my Spanish. While I am away, Myrna Castrejon, currently SVP, Government Affairs for CCSA, will serve as Acting CEO.

Myrna and I want to say a special thank you for your commitment to advocacy in the last year and for making your voices heard time and time again, sending a clear message to California's legislature and beyond that educational innovation and choice for California's children is a top priority for each of us. As we prepare to embark on a new budget cycle, we are grateful to Governor Jerry Brown and the legislature for their strong commitment to students across the state.

On June 24, 2015, Governor Brown signed the state budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year, and agreed to invest much of the state's new revenues in education. The budget includes $6 billion more for implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), over $3 billion in one-time block grants, $20 million to expand the charter school facility grant program and the elimination of all payment deferrals.

These significant funding increases will be a welcome restoration of the recession-era cuts. The increase in facility funding for charter schools, and the associated expansion in program eligibility, acknowledge access to adequate school facilities as one of the most significant challenges facing charter schools.

However, we are disheartened that Governor Brown and the legislature failed to include new charter schools and to fully include growing charter schools within the allocation for over $3 billion in one-time block grants. This decision is a step back from the promise of full funding equity for charter school students - a hallmark of the Local Control Funding Formula - and CCSA will redouble its efforts to ensure that a commitment to providing full funding equity for all public school students is restored in next year's budget and maintained for years to come.

Visit our State Budget Update page for other key highlights that may impact charter schools, and learn more in the 2015-16 Final Budget Brief.

This week on Wednesday, July 1, a number of key bills will be heard in the Senate Education and Assembly Education Committees. I encourage you to take action to help ensure that the charter school perspective is heard in the Capitol.

Charter school leaders and teachers across the state are delivering results for the communities they serve. The next several months are sure to hold new opportunities for further growth and progress. I cannot wait to see what we achieve next on our journey to ensure students across California have access to great public school options. Our students and families deserve nothing less.


Jed Wallace
President and CEO
California Charter Schools Association