June 2017 CEO Message

June 26, 2017

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Charter schools are part of the fabric of public education in California. As we close another school year, we're honored to celebrate the charter school teachers and leaders who made a range of interests and disciplines available to students across the state. Because of their leadership, students are able to build the skills and develop the confidence they need to succeed.

Graduating seniors from Sacramento Charter High are off to college. We are inspired by their hard work and determination and are proud to congratulate the class of 2017, 95% of whom were accepted to four-year universities. This is the second year in a row for the charter school to achieve a high percentage of students accepted into a four-year university.

Congratulations to Sara Meece who won the 2018 Sacramento County Charter Teacher of the Year award for her commitment to providing a high-quality education to her students. Sara is a middle school math and science teacher at the California Montessori Project (CMP) American River Campus. Sara, who has been teaching for more than 12 years and holds many leadership and mentorship roles, now advances to the statewide competition for California Teacher of the Year.

This month four educators of color petitioned the LAUSD school board to open three new charter schools in high need areas of Los Angeles. Each leader embodies passion, talent and commitment to educating all children, including some of the hardest to reach students in the region. For Boardmembers Steve Zimmer and Monica Ratliff, it was the last time they voted publicly on anything LAUSD-related. I am happy to report all three charter petitions were approved by unanimous vote.

Three San Diego area charter schools proved there's strength in numbers. After receiving unsatisfactory initial Prop. 39 facilities offers from the San Diego Unified School District, school leaders from Thrive, Kavod and KIPP charter schools collaborated to address the School Board in April as a unified force to request revisions to their offers, resulting in additional space or discussions around options to meet long-term needs.

The California Legislature passed the budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year beginning July 1. In a nutshell, the budget includes more funding for schools overall and eliminates the proposed apportionment deferral; increases the capped rate for SB 740 facility grants from $750 to $1,117 per pupil and provides an annual cost inflation increase to the rate; provides $112 million for facility grants which is the same funding level as last year; and re-appropriates $20 million in one-time funds that had been set aside for charter start up grants. The budget now moves on to Governor for his signature. CCSA will issue a full Budget Brief after the Governor signs the budget. In the meantime, visit our website for more information.

We are thrilled to have partnered with Stanford Law School to provide a comprehensive resource for all public school leaders in California with guidance on how to protect the most vulnerable students and families they serve and deliver the highest quality education to undocumented students and students who have undocumented parents. The full press release is available here and the guide is available for download here.

Thank you for your continued support in building and sustaining a charter sector that now serves more than 600,000 students across the state.

Enjoy your summer!

Jed Wallace
President and CEO
CCSA