January 2017 CEO Message - Response to Executive Order

January 30, 2017

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Over the past week, we have seen several decisions coming out of the new administration in Washington that run counter to the values of our movement and our nation. The Executive Order released on Friday banning entry of individuals from seven Muslim-majority nations was just the latest action which attacks the foundation of principles and values supporting diversity and tolerance that have guided our country for generations and which serve as the bedrock upon which the charter school movement and, indeed, a commitment to public education are founded. We at the California Charter Schools Association stand steadfastly against these decisions and we are committed to helping support charter students and their families who may be tragically affected by them.

We know that, at moments such as this, it is natural that students and their families will turn to their schools in search of support, and we at the Association are making every effort to ensure that schools will have at their disposal the resources and contacts they will need to respond. This has included reaching out proactively to immigrant and civil rights organizations providing legal and other assistance to immigrant families, including the ACLU and MALDEF, so that CCSA can serve as a conduit connecting charter schools to the expertise and capacity they will need to provide the assistance that students and families may request of them.

Should you and/or your school require assistance along these lines, we encourage you to please contact the Association at immigrantassistance@ccsa.org. Alternatively, we would encourage you to contact any CCSA staff member who will connect you to those within the Association best able to respond. Also, should you be aware of any situation affecting charter school stakeholders of any kind - be they students, families, staff members or others - we ask you to please contact us. Having the latest information about how these decisions are affecting our schools is the first step in being able to provide the most effective assistance, and we thank you for whatever information you may provide to help the Association be as proactive and responsive as possible.

This executive order does not impact Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students. While it is still unclear how the DACA program will be impacted by the Trump Administration, CCSA and the charter movement's commitment to these students remains firm as our recent collective action in responding to the Stand for Children's letter on this issue demonstrates. Rest assured we will remain vigilant in tracking this issue and advocating on behalf of the DACA program and the students impacted and will keep you apprised of any new developments.

During uncertain times as these, we feel an even deeper appreciation for the incredible contributions that charter schools and their tens of thousands of staff members are making to support hundreds of thousands of California's public school students. With continued effort and collective fortitude, we are confident that we will help our students and families overcome any challenge that may confront them, and we are confident that, ultimately, we will help summon the shared resolve needed to restore a broader commitment to the values that guide our movement and our nation.