CCSA Letter to Members of the 2017-18 California Legislative Class

December 5, 2016

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On Monday, December 5, 2016, the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) issued the following letter to members of the 2017-18 California Legislative Class.

December 5, 2016

Dear Honorable Members of the California State Legislature:

The California Charter Schools Association, representing more than 600,000 students attending over 1,250 schools statewide, congratulates you on your election to office, and we look forward to working with you during the 2017-2018 legislative session.

In this era of a new administration in Washington that has espoused many viewpoints fundamentally at odds with the values held by the vast majority of Californians, we look forward to working with you to ensure that California's public school system, including its vibrant charter school sector, continues to ensure that absolutely all students regardless of immigration status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, class, faith, or disability may access high quality public school options. Rest assured that, should policy proposals be brought forward at the federal level that would attempt to undermine the rights of students - be they proposals to end protections for students created under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, eliminate protections for LGBT youth, or the creation of a registry targeted at the families of Muslim students, to name but three possible proposals aligning with statements made during the presidential campaign - CCSA and our hundreds of member schools across the state stand ready to partner with legislators in California to prevent any such threatening proposals from being enacted or enforced.

While legislation may be brought forward at the federal level to create new student voucher programs, given that California's vibrant and growing charter school sector affords parents their fundamental right to choose where their students go to school, we believe that vouchers would be at odds with the needs of California's public school system, and we will work actively to resist them from being forced upon our state. Instead, we will continue working to ensure that high performing charter schools are allowed to open, that chronically underperforming charters are closed, and we will work to ensure that all of California's charter schools are operated and controlled by responsibly governed non-profit organizations. We will also work to ensure California has the strong authorizers needed to protect charter school autonomy while also instilling higher levels of accountability for academic results. Finally, we will work to address the most pressing challenge impeding charter schools' ability to grow and have even greater positive impact across California, which is the critical need to ensure that all charter schools receive the equitable facilities their students deserve.

Again, we congratulate you on your election and the commencement of the 2017-2018 Legislative Session, and look forward to working with you to help California's charter school students, and indeed all public school students, access the high quality education they deserve.