January 2012

Capitol Update Urgent Action Needed Today

This week’s Capitol Update contains important information on legislation that greatly impacts California charter school funding. Additionally, charter school teacher and employee retirement funds are at risk; read more information about proposed regulations below and take action today!

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"Schools We Can Believe In" Rally is this Saturday Feb. 4!

Have you gotten the word out to your parents? Filled out the bus reimbursement form? Make sure you’re ready to go with our easy checklist and a full selection of resources and templates!

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Jan. 31: Last planning call before Feb. 4 rally!

We will have a Charter Leader Weekly Rally Planning Strategy call for Los Angeles members at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday to keep everyone up to date on preparations leading up to the Feb. 4 citywide rally. We want your input so we can make this rally a great success!

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Business Managers Meetings are Back!

Topics covered include: current funding rates, updates on proposed changes, information on state and federal categorical programs - plus legislative and regulatory updates.

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Protect Charter School Teacher Retirement Funds!

More than 90% of the charter school workforce - including California teachers - will be affected by proposed federal regulations. Take Action today!

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Celebrating Choice in Public Education Week by Involving Your Parent Community

If anyone needs tips on how to involve your community in the charter movement, talk to Classical Academies.

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Feb. 1: Charter Curriculum and Instruction Meetings (C&I)

SDCOE continues their support of the charter community by hosting this excellent opportunity to meet, share best practices, learn and more.

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CCSA Regional Meeting in Oakland

Jed Wallace, Gary Borden and Alice Miller of CCSA will be joining us to drive the discussion around legislation, budget, accountability, and advocacy deeper.

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OUSD Board Watch

At lot has transpired over the course of the last few OUSD Board meetings: new petitions, conversions, approvals. Read all about it!

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Upcoming Regional Meetings: Join Local Charter Leaders In a Discussion About Region-Specific Concerns

Several charter leaders from around the region are already planning to attend the upcoming Inland Empire Charter Leaders Meetings, so it should be a great opportunity to network with those facing concerns much like your own.

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Regional Meetings are Coming Up

We will be facilitating discussions around local needs, successes and sharing ideas. Please come prepared to discuss your top three needs and bring a budget idea to share.

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Business Managers Meeting combined with Modesto-Area Charter Leaders Meeting

Thank you for all of you who participated in last week’s meeting and thank you Alice Miller for helping us combine the Business Managers updates with the Modesto-area Charter Leader Meeting. In the next round of regional meetings, we will be looking to do the same in Fresno and Bakersfield.

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Featured Grant: Innovative Reading Grant

Funding for the planning and implementation of a unique and innovative program for children that motivates and encourages reading, especially among struggling readers

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Capitol Update 1/26/12

Included in the Capitol Update this week:

* The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) Releases a Report on Charter School Funding
* Legislative Update
* Governor’s State of the State Address
* 2012-13 Governor’s Budget Proposal Budget Brief
* CCSA Back to Session Reception

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LAUSD Board Votes on Founding Parents Feb. 14

LAUSD has been looking at founding parent policies at charter schools over the past few months. Staff have accepted most of CCSA’s recommendations.

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San Diego Charter Schools in the News

San Diego charter schools were the focus of recent stories in the U-T San Diego and Voice of San Diego.

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Feb. 16 Webinar: Crafting Vision, Mission, and Value

At the core of every high-quality public charter school are a series of statements that define the school’s identity and work. Often overlooked as merely symbolic, strong and clear Vision, Mission and Values statements have a powerful effect on families, staff, funders and the larger community, propelling the school toward continual improvement and innovation. Find out more in our webinar!

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CCSA Answers: Operating a Single Sex Charter School

Question: Is it legal to operate a single-sex charter school?

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Featured Grant: Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) Tier II

Funding for education efforts aimed at the prevention and reduction of tobacco use by youth, with priority consideration based on projects that propose to implement research-validated prevention programs for the general student population, provide youth development activities for both general and priority populations, and provide intervention and cessation services to students currently using tobacco

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Conference New Year Discount Deadline Extended to Friday, January 27

Good news! We are extending the New Year Discount Deadline for the 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference & Advocacy Week until this Friday, January 27.

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Governor's Budget and State of the State Address

Governor Brown held the annual State of the State Address earlier this week and announced his proposed budget earlier this month. There is lots for charter schools to like about the Governor’s proposed budget.

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Congratulations to High Tech High

The State Board of Education reauthorized High Tech High’s statewide benefit charter at its meeting earlier this month.

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Unionization Efforts in SDUSD Charter Community Continuing

The San Diego Education Association, the local teacher’s union in San Diego Unified, has been very active in the charter community since last spring. They have organized three charter schools over the last several months and continue to reach out to more schools.

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San Diego-area February Regional Meetings

Regional Meetings are scheduled for Feb. 8-10. In addition to legislative and budget updates, we are changing the format a bit to allow for lots of time for charter leaders to share and discuss their local issues.

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"Charters 101" Video - Now en EspaƱol

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Our English-language version of the “Charters 101” video was the most popular video of 2011. We’re pleased to now be able to offer a Spanish-language version of the video, as well!

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Jan. 25: Town Hall with Galatzan and Deasy

Invite your parents and school communities to a Town Hall on Jan. 25 at 6:30 pm at El Camino Real High School featuring LAUSD boardmember Tamar Galatzan and Superintendent John Deasy.

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Jan. 24: Rally Planning Call

We will have a Charter Leader Weekly Rally Planning Strategy call for Los Angeles members at 10:30 am Tuesday to keep everyone up to date on preparations leading up to the Feb. 4 citywide rally. We want your input so we can make this rally a great success!

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LA Regional Meeting is just days away!

The Los Angeles Winter Regional Meeting is coming up on Jan. 26. At the meeting, we’ll be holding a number of engaging break-out sessions on topics relevant to you and your school—see the full draft agenda.

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CCSA Submits Founding Parent Policy Recommendations

LAUSD has been looking at founding parent policies at charter schools over the past few months. We have submitted to the district recommendations for their new founding parent policy, which is scheduled to be acted on February 14. We have yet to receive formal feedback, but informally, the Charter Division and Board Member Kayser’s office have communicated their support of our recommendations.

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CCSA Discusses STRS Concerns with LACOE

We understand that the new LACOE STRS reporting deadlines are untenable for most of you. Subsequently, we, alongside a delegate of charter leaders and back office providers met with LACOE staff on January 19 to discuss an alternative reporting timeline.

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Congratulations to Rocketship Education's CEO!

John Danner, Rocketship Education’s CEO, was recently named one of the top 12 educators to watch in 2012 in Time Magazine. Congratulations!

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RSVP for February 9 South Bay Charter Leader Meeting!

We’re looking forward to see you on February 9 at Latino College Prep in San Jose!

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California Supreme Court Denies District's Bid to Overturn Prop. 39 Decision

The California Supreme Court denied Los Altos School District’s requests that the Court accept review and depublish the appellate decision which sided with Bullis Charter School, finding that the District had violated Proposition 39, a law that requires school districts to provide “reasonably equivalent facilities” to charter schools.

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Upcoming ZOOM! Professional Development Sessions

As the second part of the academic year begins, the ZOOM! team would like to remind you of the FREE Professional Development opportunities available to you and those at all participating ZOOM! schools. Delivered via webinar, these sessions are a great way to see how your school can improve and expand its use of ZOOM!.

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DataScanner Compatibility Issues

In rolling out the new DataScanner software, DataDirector noticed that the software is working fine on systems with Windows 7 32-bit operation software, but is not working with Windows 7 64-bit operating systems.

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Features in DataDirector 4.0--Where are They?

One of the most time-consuming activities in switching to a new system interface is figuring out where all of your favorite older features are now housed. Luckily, DataDirector has created a document to help users figure out where the most commonly-used features are now housed.

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DataDirector Help Module--New and Improved!

As part of the upgrades to DataDirector, the site contains a new and improved Help module.

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DataDirector 4.0 Questions and Feedback

As you’ve probably noticed by now, DataDirector 4.0 has made its long-awaited debut. While the DataDirector team did its best to ensure that the rollout happened with as few problems as possible, some problems did pop up. However, the ZOOM! team is always here to help should you have any questions.

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Please RSVP for the upcoming Central Valley regional meetings

Please RSVP to the upcoming Central Valley regional meetings. We will be going around the room asking charter leaders for innovative financial solutions to help each other through these rough financial times, so come with your ideas of how to save or raise money for your schools.

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Great Valley Charter denied authorization at Salvation Army site in Modesto

Great Valley Academy was denied in their bid to open a school at the Salvation Army Red Shield Center in Modesto.

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Have You RSVPed for the Upcoming Charter Leaders Meetings?

For your convenience, there are two regional charter leader meetings scheduled in Region 10. Come network with colleagues and engage in discussions about issues critical to the needs in charter leaders in our area.

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Families That Can hosts its first meeting for Parent Leaders/Coordinators

On Feb. 18, Families That Can hosted its first regional meeting specifically for Parent School Site Leaders with representatives from a dozen Los Angeles charter schools. FTC plans to offer these meetings on a quarterly basis to give parent leaders a chance to share best practices, access useful resources and get ideas for engaging their parents.

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Foundation Seeks Charters to Change Educational Outcomes for Foster Youth in Sacramento County

Foster youth are the most vulnerable kids in our community. The Children’s Report Card, released by the Sacramento County Children’s Coalition showed that less than half (47.5%) of foster youth in Sacramento complete their high school degree or equivalency by the time they exit the foster youth system. The Sacramento County average graduation rate for the same period was 77.9%. The Stuart Foundation has partnered with CCSA to identify high-performing charter schools in Sacramento County that are willing to be a part of reversing the trend.

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LA Teachers: Get your classroom project funded today! Post now!

Beginning January 23, nearly 200 Los Angeles Starbucks stores will distribute 285,000 $10 DonorsChoose gift cards that parents and community members can use towards projects at the school of their choice. Post your classroom project today to get funded!

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External Opportunity: Conference for School Counselors About Issues Impacting Gay Students

The Center for Excellence in School Counseling and Leadership’s 3rd Annual National Educator Conference Focused on LGBTQIA Youth will take place February 17-19 in San Diego, CA.

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CCSA 2012-13 Governor's Budget Brief Now Available

As part of our member services, CCSA analyzes the budget as it is introduced, when it undergoes major revisions, and finally, when it is enacted. CCSA’s 2012-13 Budget Brief providing an analysis of the Governor’s proposal and its possible impact on charter schools, including estimates of the charter school block grants, is now available. We encourage you to download it as you continue your school budget planning.

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See you all for our winter regional meeting on February 7th!

Alameda County regional meeting is coming up soon!

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South Bay Charter Leader Winter Meeting

Thank you to Latino College Prep who will be hosting our winter meeting!

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Feb. 7 and 8: Inland Empire Regional Charter Leaders Meetings Featuring Special Guests

Along with your member council representative Rick Piercy, CCSA has been working hard to develop an agenda specific to the needs of Inland Empire schools

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Regional Meetings

CCSA is making a real effort to localize these meetings more and give charter leaders more opportunity for discussion and sharing.

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Special Education Options in San Diego County

The San Diego Countywide Special Education Authority is up and running with their first official JPA Board meeting last week.

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2 Fresno Unified charter schools are successfully renewed for 5 years

Congratulations to both Valley Preparatory Academy & Sierra Charter School in their successful bid for renewal from the Fresno Unified School District.

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State Appellate Court Deals a Win for the Liberty Family Academy

In a brief and unpublished decision issued Thursday, the 6th District Courts of Appeal reversed the trial court’s ruling, allowing the nonprofit corporation operating Liberty Family Academy to challenge the district in court to recover funds withheld after the school’s revocation.

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Take Advantage of Upcoming Special Education Workshops

Join us for “Special Education 101: Understanding Your Rights, Responsibilities and Options when Serving Students with Special Needs,” “Charter Petition & MOU: Special Education Sections,” and “Special Education 201: Understanding and Exercising Your Options for Special Education.”

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LAUSD Board Considers District-wide Open Enrollment, Increasing Magnets

Last week, the LAUSD Board approved a resolution to commit to increasing enrollment by 5% over the next three years. The resolution asks the Superintendent to report back in 90 days with a plan to increase the number of magnet schools and to provide more flexibility in the magnet application process. On Jan. 17, the board will consider another resolution that would implement open enrollment in the district.

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Congrats to Equitas #2, Downtown Value and Synergy for Approvals and Renewals!

The LAUSD board approved Equitas #2 this week and renewed Synergy ES and Downtown Value School for being renewed. Also, if you’re still wondering what the district’s new School Performance Framework is all about, Jose Cole-Gutierrez will be at our Regional Meeting to provide an overview and to answer questions.

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LA Rally Overview and Objectives One-pager

Just getting up to date about our big rally Feb. 4? This one-pager outlines our key goals for the rally and what we’re asking from charter leaders to make this a huge success.

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Capitol Update 1/12/12

Included in the Capitol Update this week:

* Legislative Update
* Big Wins for Charters at the State Board of Education
* Upcoming CDE Deadline

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New Video: "Why I Chose Option 3"

LAUSD-authorized charters have until Jan. 30 to opt in to the new Option 3 under the SELPA. In our new video, Toby Bornstein of Multicultural Learning Center shares why she felt Option 3 was the best choice for her school and her students.

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External Opportunity: Feb. 2 Middle Grades Math Conference

Learn about how promising digital tools and resources are now available to help you strengthen teaching and learning in middle grades mathematics, and the policy changes that California must make to take advantage of these new opportunities.

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Region 3: Rally for Funding Equity at the Capitol; Media training from a pro

Have you registered for the upcoming Region 3 Charter Leaders meeting in Sacramento (1/26)?

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Region 2: Tour RSA's fab new facility; Alice Miller in town to talk budget, cashflow

Are you planning to join us for the upcoming Region 2 Charter Leaders meeting in Redding on February 1st?

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This Friday, Jan, 20 is New Year Discount Registration Deadline for the Conference

Our New Year Discount Registration Deadline is coming up on Friday, Jan. 20, 2012. Remember you can use a purchase order to lock in at the low New Year Discount Rate, but the bill will not be due until the conference happens!

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Regionalized agenda topics emphasized for the next round of regional meetings

We have heard your feedback and our regional charter leader meeting are adjusting to accommodate more regionalized issues.

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Join the Million Word Challenge to Promote Literacy at Your School

Your school is invited to participate in the “Million Word Challenge” an LA county-wide literacy campaign coordinated by Families In Schools. Student winners will be honored and receive a $50 gift certificate to purchase books. Sign up today!

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Jan. 20: You're Invited to a Reception Honoring Ana Ponce

Friends of charter schools of all ages are invited to a reception on Friday Jan. 20 honoring Ana Ponce, who was recently featured in Forbes magazine. Featuring a live DJ, yummy food, and great friends!

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Jan. 22: National School Choice Week Event in Pomona

Pomona will be the site of a National School Choice Week event on January 22.

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Jan. 17: Rally Planning Call

Call in Tuesday morning at 10:30 am to get the latest updates on the Feb. 4 “Schools We Can Believe In” rally and get any questions answered!

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CCSA Answers: Length of time to become eligible to make a claim on California State Disability Insurance

Question: How long does it take to become eligible to make a claim on California State Disability Insurance (CASDI)? I know that employees have to pay $300 in CASDI before making a claim but it is not clear whether or not the “base period” wages would include wages earned while they were not paying into CASDI.

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Featured Grant: Intel Schools of Distinction Awards

Funding for schools demonstrating excellence in math and science education through innovative teaching and learning environments

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Schools Commit to Come Out for the Feb. 4 Rally

The list of schools who are committed to getting a bus and bringing their parents, students and teachers out for the “Schools We Can Believe In” rally continues to grow. They include Alliance, Bright Star, Camino Nuevo, Endeavor, Equitas, PUC Schools and more! Will you add your school to the list?

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New Rally Toolkit Has Everything You Need to Spread the Word for Feb. 4

We’ve posted a comprehensive toolkit to make it easy for you to get out the word to your school community about the citywide rally on Feb. 4. The bilingual kit includes links to our awesome rally video, handouts and templates for e-blasts, newsletter articles and robo-calls! Find everything at www.ccsa.org/rallytoolkit.

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Don't Miss the Fantastic Break-Out Sessions at the Upcoming LA Regional Meeting!

The upcoming regional meeting will feature experts from across CCSA leading break-out sessions on a variety of timely topics, based on member suggestions and feedback. See the full list of topics.

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School Board Member Best Practices Summit at the Conference

Hundreds of charter school board members from throughout California will meet to learn about best practices and strategize about the future of the charter school movement.

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Local Charter School Authorized in Mariposa County

Congratulations to the Sierra Foothill Charter School (SFCS) for being authorized by the Mariposa County Unified School District (MCUSD).

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Upcoming Central Valley Winter Regional Meetings

Be sure to mark your calendar and attend the upcoming Central Valley Winter Regional Meetings

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Mark your Calendars

Our year is off to a busy start, looking forward to our next set of regional meetings, our conference at the end of Feb. and primary elections in June.

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San Diego Unified Charter Policy

A charter policy committee has been working with SDUSD staff on revising SDUSD charter policy.

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Reinventing Regional Meetings

Our resolution for 2012 is to make these meetings a more valuable for you!

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Deadline for cash flow loan program addressing spring deferrals is Friday, January 13.

Learn how to find out more about the program, watch a recorded webinar and apply.

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Student Leaders Program Applications Due Jan. 25

Bank of America is accepting applications from high schoolers for their Student Leaders Program. Those chosen will attend an all-expense paid Student Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C and have a paid internship at a non-profit. Applications due Jan. 25!

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CCSA Answers: Compliance with the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act

Question: Does the federal Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) apply to charter schools?

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Congrats to Ana Ponce!

On Dec. 6, Ana Ponce was recognized by the Los Angeles City Council for her outstanding work in education, which was recently highlighted in Forbes Magazine.

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RSVP Today for Your Area Regional Meeting!

CCSA has redesigned regional meetings to address your burning issues while providing the information you need in an interactive, engaging format.

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Capitol Update - Important Budget News

In an unprecedented and surprise action today, Governor Jerry Brown released his state budget proposal for the 2012-13 fiscal year, five days before the previously scheduled release.

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Public Charter Schools Grant Program Workshops: Register Today!

These workshops are fast approaching! Register today to include these workshops in your grant application work plan.

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Capitol Update - 1/4/12 Special Edition


Included in the this special edition:

An update and call to action on AB1172

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New Facilities Handbook for Charter Developers

CCSA’s facilities experts have put together the most important and valuable tools to help charter leaders understand their options and navigate the facility development process.

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Consolidated Application (ConApp) Part II Deadline Delayed

Learn more about this delay and implications for funding, as the state undergoes a transition to online applications.

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Featured Grant: Sodexo Youth Grants

Funding for youth-led projects that address hunger by engaging peers, friends, families, neighbors, Sodexo employees, and other community members in creative youth-inspired solutions to ending childhood hunger in their communities

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Jan. 10: Rally Planning Strategy call

Beginning Tuesday, January 10, we will have a Charter Leader Weekly Rally Planning Strategy call for Los Angeles members at 10:30 am to keep everyone up to date on preparations leading up to the Feb. 4 citywide rally. We want your input so we can make this rally a great success!

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Jan. 4, 6, 9: Webinars on New LAUSD Renewal Criteria

LAUSD will hold webinars this week to go over the new School Performance Framework, which will inform the board’s renewal decisions. Don’t miss these key info sessions!

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URGENT: Make Your Voice Heard on AB 1172

An amended version of AB 1172 would allow a school district to deny a charter school if it found that the charter school would have a negative fiscal impact on the district. It is imperative that you let members of the Assembly Education Committee know that the end of the year amendments to AB 1172 do nothing to remove your opposition to the bill.

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