November 2016 CEO Message

November 22, 2016

  • Print
Charter schools have contributed significantly to strengthening America's public education system under the last three presidential administrations.

It is very early in President-Elect Trump's transition to know for sure what his Presidency will mean for charters, school choice and specifically for education in California. While the campaign did offer an opportunity for Trump's team to provide an education platform that was generally positive for public school choice, statements were made during this period that are perceived to be potentially threatening to many families that charter schools serve.

We congratulate Betsy DeVos, a longtime supporter of charter schools, on her appointment as Secretary of Education. Mrs. DeVos has long demonstrated a commitment to providing families with improved public school options and we look forward to working with the administration on proposals allowing all students in California to access their right to a high quality public education. We encourage DeVos and the new administration to craft broad policies allowing all students and families to continue accessing the quality educational options they deserve.

We will continue to monitor the situation in DC like many other organizations, and to collaborate with our partners at the national level, like the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, to ensure that policies adopted at the federal level will also be effective for students and their families in California.

Meanwhile, the unofficial results of the 2016 General Election are in, and legislative and local school board candidates endorsed by our sister organization CCSA Advocates prevailed in a number of races across the state. See who won in your area. In addition, Propositions 55 and 58, both of which CCSA and our members supported, passed.

We look forward to working with all of the candidates who were elected. And thank you to those of you who got involved in the democratic process. You're making a big difference for our movement and creating a policy environment where the importance of school choice is recognized as fundamental.

Charters are a necessity in our communities. In Huntington Park, the City Council tried to ignore the fact that charter schools are better at educating local students by imposing an illegal charter moratorium denying families their school choice rights. Families are demanding more high-quality schools in their community, and our lawsuit against the City of Huntington Park aims to ensure they get that by asking the court to remove the City's ban on new charter schools.

After all, student learning is the single most important factor for parents and families when deciding on the school that best meets the needs of their child, as well as during charter school renewal. Charters are an increasingly popular option for parents, often because of their flexibility in meeting the individual needs of students. However, when charter schools do not provide a high-quality education, they should close. And while we know the closure of any school is a difficult and emotional process, the commitment of California's charter school movement to student outcomes first is what sets us apart and demonstrates leadership in the public school environment. CCSA, in accordance with our accountability framework, called for the non-renewal of six charters schools earlier this month.

I am acutely aware of the uniqueness of our charter movement, including our commitment to accountability and creating communities where everyone feels valued and accepted. In this season of thanksgiving, I am grateful for your unwavering perseverance to serve all kids and families that deserve our very best. I will do all I can to make sure that we continue to make the charter school movement a place where all students are embraced.

As I tell my CCSA colleagues, just keep going.

Jed Wallace President and CEO California Charter Schools Association

P.S. Take advantage of a new social media tool developed in response to member requests and designed to help supplement your social media strategies with sample content highlighting why #charterswork.