March 2012

Capitol Update 3/30/12

Included in the Capitol Update this week:

* Legislative Update
* Revolving Loan Fund Applications Due Today, March 30, 2012
* Don’t Miss Your Chance to Weigh in on a New Statewide Assessment System
* California Legislative Republicans Propose “Roadmap to Protect Classrooms and Taxpayers”

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Gateway High School Receives AT&T Grant for Drop-out Prevention Program

Gateway will use the award to continue to fund a 9th grade seminar to help students adjust to high school and learn organizational skills, note-taking and drug and alcohol awareness.

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Field Notes from School Visits in San Joaquin County

The Central Valley is know worldwide for agriculture, but in the last 3 years, they’ve also been growing charter schools. Last week I visited 5 charter schools in San Joaquin County that have been operating for less than 4 years.

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Increasing School Choices and Dropout Prevention

There’s been a lot of news lately in the Fresno area on the ongoing drop out problem occurring locally and of course nationwide.

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Upcoming San Jose Area Spring Charter Meeting Featuring DCP Alum Rock

Thanks for your feedback on the winter regional meeting. Based on your input, visiting a school site is definitely preferred (Latino College Prep Academy, our winter host, was a big hit!) and the end of May is a good time for a Spring meeting.

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Proposition 39: Working with SDUSD

San Diego Unified approved three offers at their meeting on Tuesday. All three of these schools already occupy district space but share it with a district school, so they have to go through the Prop. 39 process each year.

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SDUSD School Board: June Primary Approaches

In SDUSD there are three seats open but only two seats have competition.

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Featured Grant: Early Childhood Reading Grants

Funding for programs that foster a love of reading and encourage young children, preschool through third grade, to read together with their families

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CCSA Answers: Nonprofit Board Member Serving on the Charter School's Board

Question: Can a nonprofit board member also serve on the charter school’s board?

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California Court of Appeal Sides With Charter School in Teacher's Challenge to Exemption from District Employment Rules

A California Court ruled in favor of Ridgecrest Charter School in a lawsuit brought by a probationary teacher challenging her termination, claiming that the school was required to comply with laws applicable to school districts.

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Check Out the New and Improved Families That Can Website!

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We are excited to announce that we have relaunched the Families That Can website which is designed to better serve our members and parent advocates. Check it out!

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Our Charter Community is Growing

San Diego Unified approved another new charter, Kavod, which will open a K-5 program.

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Welcome to Kristen McCaw!

Kristen, who has both nonprofit management and charter-focused education reform experience, recently joined CCSA as the School Development Manager for Northern California.

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Don't forget - Rally Bus Reimbursements Due!

Thank you to all the schools who have submitted bus reimbursements for the February 4 “Schools We Can Believe In” rally in Los Angeles. If you haven’t submitted your bus reimbursement yet, please do so as soon as possible.

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External Opportunity: Low-cost Summer Camp

Do you know a child who would benefit from attending an outdoor camp this summer? Camp Max Straus in Glendale serves children ages 7-12, offering a low-cost program and financial aid.

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External Opportunity: April 19: "Teachers at the Table: Build Your Own Evaluation"

LA charter school teachers are invited to join Teach Plus on Thursday, April 19 for an interactive, hands-on working session where you and your colleagues will design your “ideal” teacher evaluation.

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March 29: Finance Academy Webinar

Can’t make our once-yearly Finance Academy in person? The Sacramento session on March 29 will also be streamed live as a webinar. Register today to get the log-in info!

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Welcome to Matt Bragman!

Matt Bragman recently joined CCSA as the School Development Manager for the Los Angeles region. Matt will be supporting individuals and groups that are interested in developing new schools in the area.

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Welcome to Sam Gelinas!

Sam Gelinas recently joined CCSA as the Special Projects Manager for the School Development and Support team and will be based out of the Los Angeles office.

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Dear Legislators: A Video Letter to Elected Officials

Watch school leaders like you deliver an impassioned message to California Legislators about the need for funding equity.

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Open Enrollment for Bay Area Special Ed JPA: April 1 - May 4

Interested charters from the Bay Area, including Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, can still enroll in the recently created Bay Area Special Education Joint Powers Authority.

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Mar. 27: Intensive Finance Academy in Hayward

This on-site workshop will assist charter schools that are engaged in the strategic planning process, working toward long-term sustainability. It is for charter school board members and business managers, especially those working with business service providers.

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Innovative Programs in Blended Learning

The collaborative program evaluation is being conducted through a joint effort of Gompers Preparatory Academy, CREATE UCSD, and Girard Foundation and combines the best thinking of both researchers and practitioners in real time.

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Stay Connected to Our Charter Community

It is important that we share our innovations and successes with one another. Find out ways to share, and ways to stay in the know.

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Save the Date: Inland Empire Charter Leaders Meetings

The dates for Spring Charter Leaders Meetings in the Inland Empire Area have been set. For your convenience, there will be two meetings in the greater Inland Empire

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CCSA Answers: Charter Schools and the Field Act

Question: Must a district-sponsored charter school facility be in compliance with the Field Act?

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Featured Grant: ING Unsung Heroes

Recognizes educators for their innovative teaching methods, creative educational projects, and ability to positively influence the children they teach

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Action Kit: Tell Bennett Kayser to Stop Attacking Charters

LAUSD board member Bennett Kayser recently announced that he intends to vote against all charter-related items due to the district’s financial difficulties. He needs to hear from school leaders, teachers and parents in his district today! Use our action to get out the word.

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Environmental Charter High School Nominated for Green Ribbon School Award

ECHS in Lawndale is one of just four California schools nominated for the Inaugural Green Ribbon Awards, out of 49 applicants. Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced the honor at a press conference at the school earlier this week.

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Changes in LACOE's STRS Reporting Deadline Cause Pain for Many Charters

Beginning February 1, LACOE moved its STRS reporting deadline up by ten days, drastically reducing the amount of time charter operators and back office providers have to process and submit payments for STRS submissions. CCSA is working to see if this deadline could be extended.

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Capitol Update 3/22/12

Included in the Capitol Update this week:

* Legislative Update
* Superintendent Torlakson Chooses Charter School Campus to Announce New National Green Ribbon Schools Program
* Upcoming Deadlines Quickly Approaching: Public Charter School Grant Program
* Start Building a Relationship With Your Legislators

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Don't Miss our Academies

Don’t miss these local, no cost, opportunities to get training for your staff and board members.

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Great Opportunity for Oakland Juniors and Seniors

The Oakland Rotary Enterprise Institute treats students to 2.5 days near Santa Cruz to learn about business startups, business management, critical thinking, presentations, teamwork and teamwork, as tied to academics.

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LAUSD Bennett Kayser Action Kit

On March 13, Bennett Kayser, who represents east, northeast and southeast LA for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) board, announced that he plans to vote “NO” on everything related to charter schools, no matter whether that school is doing a great job. He needs to hear from charter school parents. Our action kit makes it easy to get out the word to your school community.

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Why Charter Parents MUST Speak Out

K.W. Tulloss, a charter parent and organizer with Families That Can, saw first-hand the importance of advocacy work when his child’s school was recently up for renewal and ran into some political challenges that put the school’s future in jeopardy.

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Odyssey Charter School Teacher Nominated in the "Great American Teach Off"

Ten inspiring teachers are competing for one $10,000 classroom grant and it’s up to you to decide who will win. Visit GOOD magazine today to vote for Daryl Bilandzija of Odyssey Charter School in Altadena!

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Kayser Intends to Vote Against Charter Related Items Citing Budget Issues

Last week, LAUSD board member Bennett Kayser indicated directly to CCSA and publicly at the LAUSD Board meeting that he intended to vote against all charter-related items in last week’s board agenda due to the district’s financial difficulties.

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April 3: Intensive Finance Academy in San Bernardino

Got questions about charter school finances? Don’t miss CCSA’s 4-hour in-depth Finance Academy which is offered just once a year!

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Public Charter School Grant Program Application Deadline Extended

The Public Charter Schools Grant Program application period that was scheduled to close on March 31, 2012, has been extended to April 30, 2012 for eligible charter schools to apply.

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Assessment Performance Band Issue Has Been Fixed

Get the details on the fix rolled out recently by DataDirector.

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ZOOM!: How to Avoid Corrupt User-Created Items

An issue that has become common for many ZOOM! users is finding that items they create in the item bank are corrupt. Find out what you can do.

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Cleaning Up Your DataDirector System

The ZOOM! team would like to remind all schools to clean up their* DataDirector* systems throughout the year. While most schools regularly clean up their data, many don’t clean up their user accounts once in the system. This includes deactivating…

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URGENT PCSGP Grant Readers Needed

This is an invitation to participate in the grant application review process as a peer reviewer. - It is a great opportunity for Sacramento Area charter leaders!

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Supporting Each Other as our Local Charter School Movement Evolves

At our last regional meetings in the Central Valley & the regional meeting at the conference, you could clearly get a sense of community in the room…

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Capitol Update 3/16/12

Included in the Capitol Update this week:

* Make Your Voice Heard on the State Budget
* Upcoming Deadlines Quickly Approaching: Public Charter School Grant Program
* Legislative Hearings
* Office of Administrative Law Approves Regulations Affecting Charter School Facilities
* IRS Town Hall on Pension Plan Proposal
* Education Funding Initiatives
* Start Building a Relationship With Your Legislators

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April 5: Intensive Finance Academy in San Diego

Got questions about charter school finances? Don’t miss CCSA’s 4-hour in-depth Finance Academy which is offered just once a year!

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Three California Charter Schools Honored as EPIC National Charter Consortium 2012 Award Winning Schools

Three California charter schools are being honored as Silver Silver Gain Schools: Leadership Public Schools Hayward; Leadership Public Schools Richmond; and Voices College-Bound Language Academy (San Jose)

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Featured Grant: Brower Youth Awards

Recognizes the outstanding leadership efforts of young people working for the protection of the planet, highlights the accomplishments of these new leaders, and invests in their continued success by providing ongoing access to resources, mentors, and opportunities to develop leadership skills

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Fresno County Office of Education Recognized as Authorizer of the Year

Fresno County Office of Education (FCOE) was recognized as this year’s Hart Vision Brian Bennet Authorizer of the Year Award recipient at our recent 19th Annual Charter Schools Conference.

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LAUSD Parcel Tax Includes Charters!

On March 13, the LAUSD Board voted 6-1 to approve a five-year, $298-per parcel tax on properties within district boundaries to go on the November 2012 ballot. The parcel tax includes ALL public schools within LAUSD…

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LAUSD Renews Seven Charter Schools

All seven LAUSD charter schools up for renewal before the board last week were renewed. Congratulations to Magnolia, Celerity, Watts Learning Center and ICEF, which all had schools renewed!

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ZOOM! Professional Development Schedule

As we approach the end of the year, the ZOOM! team would like to remind you of our FREE Professional Development Opportunities

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March 29: Intensive Finance Academy in Sacramento

Got questions about charter school finances? Don’t miss CCSA’s 4-hour in-depth Finance Academy which is offered just once a year!

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Revolving Loan Application: Key Dates and Updated Application Due March 30

The California Department of Education (CDE) has notified charter schools that there were formula errors on one of the forms in the 2011-12 Revolving Loan Fund Application posted on February 24.

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Welcome John Glover as new Member Council Representative for Region 4!

John has experience throughout the Bay Area charter community with a focus on Oakland and now San Jose, and we are very excited to welcome him to this role.

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96% of Members Consider Winter Regional Meetings "High Quality"

As you may have heard, CCSA introduced some changes to this most recent round of regional meetings…

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Planning to Start a New Charter School? Get a Scholarship to the Fortune School Leadership Program

This program is for charter leaders, by charter leaders, and focuses on producing charter school leaders for high-quality charter schools in high need areas

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Mar. 13: Charter Teachers: Let Your Voice Be Heard

Learn about a local initiative to help combat the dropout crisis in Oakland.

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Help Shape Your Annual Conference: Take the Satisfaction Survey

Did you attend the 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference in Sacramento? If you have not yet filled out our satisfaction survey, please do so today!

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Congratulations to Laura McGowan, Honored as "Ed Champion Reformer"

Laura McGowan, Executive Director and Founder of Crown Preparatory Academy in south Los Angeles was honored this past week as one of the Black Alliance for Educational Options’ “Ed Champion Reformer under 40” ] in Washington D.C.!

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April 3: Communications 101 Workshop in Los Angeles

Are you trying to get positive media coverage of your school, reach out to families or raise your profile in the community? Get tips and inspiration with our free Communications 101 Workshop in Los Angeles!

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CIVICS: Get Started with Voter Engagement!

With Super Tuesday behind us, there’s really no reason to delay in getting started with non-partisan voter engagement!

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April 2: Form 700 Filing Deadline for Local Charter School Officials and Employees

Depending on your local authorizer’s conflict of interest policies, certain charter school officers and employees may be required to file Statements of Economic Interest with a filing officer by the April 2 deadline.

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Capitol Update 3/8/12

Included in the Capitol Update this week:

* CCSA Endorses Governor Brown’s Initiative
* Revolving Loan Application: Key Dates and Updated Application Due March 30
* The State Board of Education (SBE) met in Sacramento this week and took several actions that affect charter schools
* REMINDER: TDap Vaccine Requirements and Implications
* State Charter School Facilities Incentive Grants Program
* Legislative Update
* IRS and Public Pension Plans: Next Steps
* Important Info: June 2012 Deferral Exemption

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Rebels with a Cause

San Diego Charter Schools were well represented at the 2012 Conference - find out more… and don’t forget to mark your calendars for next year’s conference right here in San Diego.

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New SELPA for Region 1 - Deadline Approaches

Dissatisfied with your special education arrangements? Seeking increased autonomy, flexibility and access to funding? Read on for important updates and timelines.

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Featured Grant: We Can Change the World Challenge

Invites student teams in the U.S., under teacher guidance, to solve environmental problems in their world.

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March 27: Intensive Finance Academy in Hayward

Got questions about charter school finances? Don’t miss CCSA’s 4-hour in-depth Finance Academy which is offered just once a year! This workshop will assist charter schools and developers in all phases of financial management and is designed for schools that are working toward long-term sustainability.

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March 21: Intensive Finance Academy in Los Angeles

Got questions about charter school finances? Don’t miss CCSA’s 4-hour in-depth Finance Academy which is offered just once a year! This workshop will assist charter schools and developers in all phases of financial management and is designed for schools that are working toward long-term sustainability.

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Don't Miss CCSA's Intensive, Once-Yearly Finance Academy!

Got questions about charter school finances? Don’t miss CCSA’s 4-hour in-depth Finance Academy which is offered just once a year! This workshop will assist charter schools and developers in all phases of financial management and is designed for schools that are working toward long-term sustainability

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Highlights From the 3rd Annual Charter Parent Summit

Sacramento was the perfect location for this year’s Annual Charter School Parent Summit as parents connected with each other and their elected officials and learned ways to continue to advocate and organize in their communities. About 150 parents attended this year’s Summit, representing schools from Los Angeles to Oakland to Sacramento.

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New Charters in San Diego Unified

Last Tuesday night was a busy night for charters at the SDUSD board meeting: two approvals and two public hearings.

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Charter School Night at the Padres

Get a great discount on tickets and learn an opportunity to choose the “Play Ball” kid, color guard and 2 charters to highlight during the pregame show.

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March 8: Special Educator Event in Los Angeles

Special educators are invited to a dinner and discussion coordinated by Educators for Excellence (E4E) focusing around opportunities for innovation and supporting students.

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May 30: Common Core Workshop with LACOE

Local charters are invited to a one-day training on Common Core State Standards at the LACOE office in Downey. Register by May 16 to participate!

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CCSA Endorses Governor Brown's "Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act"

CCSA officially supports Governor Brown’s proposed tax initiative to bring much needed relief to California’s public schools, including charters.

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LAUSD Charter Division is Hiring

Do you know a highly capable candidate? This position calls for someone with a deep understanding of charter schools and ability to manage many different areas. The position will report to Jose Cole-Gutierrez of LAUSD’s Charter Schools Division.

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Congrats to LA Winners at Conference!

Each year, CCSA recognizes a handful of outstanding individuals and schools with our Hart Vision Awards. I’m sure many of you were so proud of two honorees this year from Los Angeles - the Volunteer of the Year, Erika Higgins Ross of WISH Charter, and Gabriella Charter School, which was honored as 2012 Charter School of the Year! You have to see the amazing videos!

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Seen and Heard: Northeastern Charter Leaders at the Conference

Charter leaders from the far north were out in full force at the 19th Annual Charter Schools Conference. Here’s a round of who was where, and when.

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Charter Schools from Sacramento, Paradise Participate in the Rally for Funding Equity

While some participants simply walked over from the Sacramento Convention Center, four charter school communities from our region filled buses to bring parents, students, and teachers to the captiol to participate

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Your First Look at 2012 Conference Highlights

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On Thursday we wrapped up the 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference, and I wanted to take a minute to thank those of you who attended for your energy and engagement through the sessions, and for your participation in the Charter School Funding Equity Rally at the Capitol.

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CCSA Answers: Charter Schools and Single-School District Plans

Question: Is it true that although charter schools are not explicitly required by the state to submit a Single-School District (SSD) Plan (a Local Educational Agency (LEA) Plan + a Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA)), a direct-funded charter school is required to submit an SSD Plan as it relates to qualifying for federal funding under NCLB (Title I/III/V, etc.)?

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Featured Grant: Mantis Awards

Funding for charitable and educational garden projects that enhance the quality of life in their host communities, and for groups that are turning slim resources into bountiful gardens with far-reaching benefits

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