May 2017 CEO Message

May 30, 2017

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By now, you're likely familiar with the collective efforts of our charter school sector resulting in history making progress on behalf of students and families.

After months of hard work by countless charter school advocates and volunteers, two CCSA Advocates-endorsed candidates, Nick Melvoin and Kelly Gonez, won their elections to the Los Angeles Unified School Board in Districts 4 and 6 respectively. These wins represent a new direction for the Los Angeles Unified School Board. Nick and Kelly believe that a zip code should not determine the educational quality that a student receives. Read more on these results by visiting the CCSA Advocates website.

And thanks to the unwavering commitment of charter school parents, leaders and advocates, SB 808 (Mendoza), a bill designed to put every charter school and charter school student in the state at risk, is now a two-year bill and will be held until January 2018. The charter school community was out in force discussing the most important issues facing our community at Advocacy Day on May 2 (check out a video recap of the event), providing personal testimonies at a Senate Education Committee hearing, pushing back on LAUSD support for SB 808, and meeting with the bill's author Senator Mendoza.

Just last week, we moved to a support position for AB 1360 (Bonta) after successfully working with the Assemblymember to reach amendments that dispel misperceptions and clarify existing law regarding nondiscrimination and federal due process protections in California's charter schools. We hope this bill becomes a model for all public schools, including traditional public and district magnet schools, and that they will follow the lead demonstrated by this charter school action and examine their own potentially exclusionary admissions and disciplinary policies.

We have more information for you on Governor Jerry Brown's May Budget Revision in CCSA's State Budget Update and May Revision Budget Brief. And we weighed in on the federal government's release of its proposed FY 2018 budget.

Dedicated charter school teachers and school leaders are unlocking the full academic potential in their students, and their efforts are not going unnoticed. Charter schools across California were honored with Gold Ribbon Schools Awards. Pacific Collegiate Charter in Santa Cruz was ranked number 10 in the nation and number 1 in California on U.S. News & World Report's annual rankings of the best public high schools in the country. And Granada Hills Charter High School in the San Fernando Valley won their sixth state Academic Decathlon win.

A new report released by CCSA last month details how California's charter schools are helping students achieve at higher levels than their peers in traditional public schools regardless of race, zip code, or charter school type. Two additional reports elaborate on the success of charter schools in Oakland and Los Angeles.

Thank you for the countless hours you've contributed to the progress highlighted above - progress that is ultimately about ensuring more kids are able to take advantage of an education that ignites their passion for learning.

Warmly,

Jed Wallace
President and CEO
CCSA