Major Categories: Advocacy

CCSA Hosting Webinar on Legislation to Secure Equitable Funding for the Lowest Performing Subgroup

Join us on Thursday, March 22 from 11 am to noon to hear from incoming CCSA Board Chair Margaret Fortune about AB 2635, CCSA’s sponsored legislation authored by Assemblymember Shirley Weber, Autumn Burke, and Mike Gipson. This legislation will provide additional funding and require greater accountability from K-12 public schools in support of the lowest performing subgroup of students in the state outside of students with special needs, which continues to be African American students.

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State Legislature Acts on Several Bills by Deadline

This week, the state Legislature reaches its deadline to pass bills out of their house of origin. Hundreds of bills have been voted on in both the Assembly and Senate, including a number of bills of interest to charter schools.

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Meet us at the Dome! Register Now: Advocacy Day 2017 in Sacramento

Each May, CCSA celebrates National Charter Schools Week with Advocacy Day in Sacramento. Advocacy Day 2017 will be held on Tuesday, May 2 and is an opportunity to meet with your local legislators on critical issues facing California’s charter public schools. Register by Saturday, April 15 - free for CCSA member schools!

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Advocacy Day Registration Now Open

Each May, CCSA celebrates National Charter Schools Week with Advocacy Day in Sacramento. Advocacy Day is an opportunity for you or a team from your school to attend meetings with your local legislators on the issues facing charter schools in California and in your communities. Learn more about the event and register here.

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Bay Area Facilities Advocacy Committee Meeting on Jan. 26

CCSA is hosting a workshop on Thursday, January 26, 2017 in Oakland with charter leaders from across the Bay Area to discuss facilities advocacy strategies and to plan actions in support of equitable facilities for all schools. Learn more and register here.

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Coming Soon: New 2016-17 Academic Accountability Reports and Tools for Schools

This week CCSA will publish new 2016-17 Academic Accountability Reports, detailing the academic performance of California charter schools according to CCSA’s Accountability Framework. Keep your eye out for these tools to help you understand how California charters are performing and that can be used at critical points throughout the year, including in the cycle of continuous improvement and at renewal. Read more here.

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FAQ on Candidates and Ballot Measures

Looking for ways to legally engage your charter school parents this election? Check out CCSA’s FAQ on Candidates and Ballot Measures.

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Member Council Provides Input for 2017 Legislative Season: Bill Ideas Welcome!

In its June meeting the Membership Council provided initial input for what CCSA should prioritize as we start to develop an advocacy agenda for the 2017 legislative season. Learn more about how you can share your ideas.

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School Bonds and Parcel Taxes

Learn more about school bonds and parcel taxes and how CCSA can support your school.

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The National Charter School Resource Center New Case Study: DC Public Charter School Board

The National Charter School Resource Center (NCSRC) recently visited the DC Public Charter School Board (DC PCSB) to learn about its authorizing process, and more specifically, to highlight a case in which it facilitated a charter takeover for a low-performing public charter school in its portfolio.

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Get the Facts on the Anti-Charter Ballot Initiative

Earlier this month, a small group began an effort to get the “Elimination of Charter Schools” initiative on the California ballot in November. Find out more, including how you and your school community can speak out against this effort.

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Update on CCSA's Draft Academic Accountability Framework

The following is a message from Malka Borrego, Chair, CCSA Member Council and Founder/Chief Executive Officer, Equitas Academy Charter School to California charter school leaders.

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The Literacy Empowerment Foundation is Offering Free Books! Deadline: February 14

The Literacy Empowerment Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, invites your school or other literacy project to apply for FREE books for Read Across America Day.

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Media Workshop: Sharing the Charter School Story in San Diego - Oct. 29

Register today for CCSA’s FREE media workshop in San Diego and learn how to share your charter school’s story to key audiences.

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Update: CCSA v. LAUSD (Prop. 39)

Learn about the Supreme Court’s recent decision that LAUSD has been violating Prop. 39 law, the Trial Court entered an order agreed to by LAUSD that will enable CCSA to closely monitor LAUSD’s Prop. 39 compliance through the 2016-17 Prop. 39 cycle.

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Send Letters TODAY To Oppose SB 705 (Hill) and AB 709 (Gipson)

Stand up for charter schools and OPPOSE SB 705 (Hill) and AB 709 (Gipson). SB 705 would require a school district to notify an impacted traditional public school and parents at the school if the school may be allocated to a charter public school in order to comply with Proposition 39. AB 709 contains a provision that would severely restrict charter schools’ financial tools and flexibility and would subject charter school board members to criminal penalties. Take action today for charter schools and please SEND A LETTER!

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2015 Adequate Yearly Progress Determinations for TK - Grade 8: Due July 10

The California Department of Education (CDE) is collecting attendance data for all public schools with students enrolled in TK through grade eight for purposes of the Adequate Yearly Progress determinations. Read the CDE’s letter.

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National Charter School Survey 2015

National Charter School Survey requests your input!

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Update: West Contra Costa Unified School District Lawsuit

Trial court issues ruling in favor of CCSA lawsuit against the West Contra Cost Unified School District.

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Have You Submitted Your Nomination for CCSA's Special Education STAR Award?

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The STAR Award offers an opportunity for you to highlight an outstanding individual or team that is demonstrating exemplary support to students with disabilities. Nomination deadline is February 28!

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Court Affirms Nonclassroom-Based Charter School's Right to Operate Resource Center

Shasta Superior Court allows Shasta Secondary Home School to continue to operate its resource center outside of its authorizing district’s boundaries but within the county of that district. Read more.

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Vote: Election Day is November 4!

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Election Day is November 4, 2014. Learn about the election and find your polling place.

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Legislation Restricting Charter Facilities Vetoed by the Governor

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Governor Brown vetoes SB 1263 that would have have restricted charter facilities.

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Start Preparing Your Prop. 39 Facilities Request for 2015-16!

Application deadlines for Proposition 39 (“Prop. 39”) facilities for the 2015-16 school year are right around the corner, so it is critical charter schools begin the process now.

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Prepare Your School's Request for Facilities Under Prop. 39!

The 2015-16 Prop. 39 cycle is already underway. Find CCSA’s various resources, templates, and information to get you started.

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CCSA Issues Report Showing Charters Making Significant Academic Gains

On Tuesday, August 26, the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) released its fourth annual Portrait of the Movement: Five Year Retrospective - A Charter Sector Growing in Numbers and Strength, a report that highlights trends that indicate that tens of thousands of students are being educated in better performing charter schools than just five years ago.

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Reminder: Keep Your Special Education Options Open - June 30 Deadline

If your school is interested in exploring LEA status or negotiating alternative special education arrangements for the next school year, you must submit a letter notifying your existing SELPA of your intent to exit the SELPA by June 30.

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Over 300 Charter Supporters Gather for CCSA's Annual Advocacy Day

More than 300 school leaders, teachers, parents, and students met with elected officials on May 7, 2014 in Sacramento to discuss key issues and legislation impacting charter schools during CCSA’s annual Advocacy Day.

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CCSA Files Parcel Tax Lawsuit Against West Contra Costa Unified School District

CCSA filed a lawsuit against WCCUSD stating that the district failed to provide students attending charter public schools with voter approved parcel tax funding under Measure G.

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Your Voice Needed on Critical Charter School Legislation

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CCSA needs you to take action today on two critical legislative bills that impact California charter schools: Assembly Bill 2178 (Levine) and Assembly Bill 1531 (Chau).

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Reminder: Accept or Decline Your Prop. 39 Final Offer By May 1

School districts were required to provide charter schools who requested district facilities under Proposition 39 with final offers of facilities by April 1. As a reminder, charter schools must accept or decline the offered space no later than May 1 or 30 days after the final offer, whichever is later. Read on for more information and template response letters.

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Charter School Facilities Initiative (CSFI) Focuses on Northern California

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Thanks to a strong response from the California charter school community, the CSFI is off to a great start to reach our goal of achieving an 85% percent participation rate in the survey. The Bay Area, the Central Valley, and Sacramento will be the focus of our last big push to reach our goals and we need your help us cross the finish line!

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Keep Your Special Education Option Open - June 30 Deadline

If your school is interested in exploring LEA status or negotiating alternative special education arrangements for the next school year, you must submit a letter notifying your existing SELPA of your intent to exit the SELPA by June 30.

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Funding Round of the Charter School Facility Grant Program is Accepting Applications

The Funding Round of the Charter School Facility Grant Program (Program) is now open through Monday, May 12, 2014 at 5:00 p.m.

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Advocacy Day is Quickly Approaching: 5 Reasons You Should Register Now!

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Demonstrate the growth and success of the charter movement by participating in CCSA’s Annual Advocacy Day in Sacramento on May 7.

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CCSA Hosts Independent Study Brown Bag at the State Capitol

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Charter leaders Cameron Curry and Mary Bixby present independent study briefing at California State Capitol.

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State Board of Education (SBE) Considers Testing and Accountability Issues

The SBE took action this week to suspend the API and similar school ranks for the next two years for all grade levels.

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New Report: Oakland Middle and High Charter Schools & College-Readiness

CCSA released a new report on Oakland middle and high schools which shows that Oakland charter schools are renewing the promise of a high-quality public education and changing what is possible for students of all demographic backgrounds to achieve in their lives.

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Update: AB 1266 Referendum Fails

Last Monday, February 24, the California Secretary of State announced that efforts to repeal the “transgender bill” AB 1266 have failed. In light of this announcement, CCSA has issued some guidance for charter schools regarding the implementation of this bill.

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Recent Study Shows "No Empirical Evidence" That Charters Push Out Students

Read the study in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, from September 2013.

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Applications Due Feb. 2 for Teacher Advocacy Fellowship

Have you ever looked at something in California’s education system and thought: Who made this decision? Why does this policy exist? What were they thinking?

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New 2014 Laws Impacting Charter Schools

The start of 2014 brought into effect several new laws that impact how charter schools operate and govern. These laws include AB 2109, SB 751 and AB 1266.

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External Opportunity: Deadline Jan. 29 for the White House Student Film Festival

President Barack Obama is inviting K-12 students to participate in the first White House Student Film Festival, whose films must focus on technology in education.

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External Opportunity: Feb. 7 Deadline for MathMovesU Middle School Scholarships and Grants

Each year Raytheon’s MathMovesU Middle School Scholarship and Grant Program awards 150 middle school students nationwide $1,000 scholarships to attend math and science summer programs or save the money for college. Raytheon also donates a $1,000 matching grant to each winning student’s middle school.

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AB 1266 Update: Pupil Rights: Sex-Segregated School Programs and Activities

Effective January 1, 2014, AB 1266 (Education Code § 221.5) establishes that it is the policy of the state that school classes be conducted without regard to the gender of the pupil enrolled in these classes.

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Documentary Film "We The Parents" Explores Parent Trigger Law

WE THE PARENTS is a new film that explores the origins of the “Parent Trigger” law and the spread of this movement across the nation.

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The 4 Questions Every School in Renewal Should be Ready to Answer

A SWOT analysis is a handy tool for planning your renewal strategy. Check out our short list of questions that your school should be prepared to answer.

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Charter School Facilities Initiatives Survey: US Department of Education Onboard!

The US Department of Education has funded the Charter School Facilities Initiative Survey in California in early 2014! The survey is a national initiative to research and quantify charter school access to adequate educational facilities space and funding.

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Prepare Your Prop. 39 Clean Energy Jobs Act Application for Funding with FREE Assistance from the California Conservation Corp

Trained members of the California Conservation Corp will visit charter schools to conduct “whole building” energy opportunity surveys at no cost to schools. Energy surveys are required before receiving Clean Energy Act (Prop 39) funding.

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CA Charter Board Member Urges You to Register Today for Advocacy Day 2014

Each May, over 100 California charter school leaders, board members and parents join together to celebrate National Charter Schools Week with Advocacy Day hosted by CCSA in Sacramento. Read why Rick Miller, CORE Executive Director and Rocklin Academy Board Member, plans to attend this year. And be sure to register today!

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Charter Leaders Connect with Senate Education Chair Carol Liu

Representatives from diverse charter schools across Los Angeles recently had the opportunity to have a deep and thoughtful discussion with Senator Carol Liu (D - Pasadena), who plays an important leadership role in the Legislature. A two-hour conversation touched on issues from SB 740 funding to charter-district collaboration, teachers unions and Code 1090.

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CDE now says that most students will take both English and Math SBAC

In a letter to superintendents and charter school leaders, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson gave more details on testing for this year. We particularly wanted to highlight an update on testing as it varies from what CDE had previously conveyed.

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Free Training in Los Angeles on Charter School Best Practices Project

The California Department of Education is offering a free training session in Los Angeles County for educators to learn strategies for using the new Charter Schools Best Practices Project, a new initiative to strengthen charter schools across the state by providing teachers and administrators access to hundreds of online resources to aid their work.

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Free Training in San Diego on Charter School Best Practices Project

The California Department of Education is offering a free training session in San Diego County for educators to learn strategies for using the new Charter Schools Best Practices Project, a new initiative to strengthen charter schools across the state by providing teachers and administrators access to hundreds of online resources to aid their work.

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Take "The Making Caring Common Project Survey" to Learn How Students Experience School

The Making Caring Common Project (MCCP) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education is offering an opportunity to participate in a survey and school network pilot. If your school participates, you will be able to draw on the latest strategies - based on research evidence and the wisdom of practitioners - for promoting caring and empathy, preventing bullying and cruelty, and strengthening communities.

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Torlakson Launches Charter School Best Practices Project; Hundreds of Resources Available

The California Department of Education is launching a new Charter Schools Best Practices Project to strengthen charter schools across the state by providing teachers and administrators access to hundreds of online resources to aid their work.

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Parent Empowerment Act Webinar - November 21!

Learn about the Parent Empowerment Act and how parents can organize and advocate for a quality education.

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In the Spotlight: Exhibit Hall - Find Your Next Great Vendor Partner at the CCSA Conference

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Only 112 days remain until we arrive in San Jose for the start of our Annual Conference March 3-6, 2014. This year CCSA looks forward to including over 250 booths in the exhibit hall showcasing over 280 companies that provide tools and resources to fit the unique and expanding needs of the charter movement.

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Don't Wait to Submit Your Renewal Petition!

CCSA strongly suggests that petitioning schools submit their renewal petitions by November 15, 2013 if you haven’t already done so.

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Conference: Early Bird Registration Special + A Prize to Win + CCSA Host Hotels are Filling Up!

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CCSA is proud to offer our Early Bird Conference Registration Special available until December 13, a chance to win dinner on us and discounted room rates at our host hotels.

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Submit Your Prop 39 Facilities Request Now!

Don’t forget to submit your Prop. 39 Facilities request by November 1, 2013.

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Letter in Support of Superintendent Deasy

We are tracking the news on Dr. Deasy closely. While he has not submitted a letter of resignation, our understanding is that the Board’s closed session discussion on his contract on Tuesday will likely determine whether he is staying at the district beyond February.

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Conference: Drum Roll Please! And the Winner of the Weekend in Palm Springs is...+ Another Chance to Win

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CCSA is excited to announce the winner of the 21st Annual California Charter Schools Conference Palm Springs Giveaway. The excitement continues with another chance to win - so register today.

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Reminder: Deadline is October 28 for FREE Support with Prop. 39 Facilities Application

Pro bono legal assistance is available for CCSA members to help you with requesting and securing facilities under Prop. 39.

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LAUSD Responds to Charter Concerns on the School Performance Framework (SPF)

Superintendent Deasy and LAUSD responded to the charter community’s concerns regarding the School Performance Framework (SPF) and its application to charter schools. Read their full letter.

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School Report Cards Now Available

CCSA’s 2013 Academic Accountability Report Cards are now available, showing new (2012-13) academic performance results for all charter public schools in California within CCSA’s academic accountability performance framework.

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San Bernardino Elections Tuesday, November 5

San Bernardino students and families have an opportunity to choose school board members that represent their values and priorities by voting in the upcoming election for three school board seats.

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Proposition Z Charter School Facility Committee (CSFC) Update

Read about important updates and deadlines from the Proposition Z Charter School Facility Committee.

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Conference: Space is Filling Up, Book Your Room at a CCSA Host Hotel

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While attending the 2014 Annual Conference and enjoying all that San Jose has to offer, please support CCSA by selecting one of our host hotels. See the Top 10 reasons why this is a good idea!

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CCSA Files Reply Brief in LAUSD Prop 39 Case at California Supreme Court

On October 10, 2013, CCSA filed its reply brief with the California Supreme Court in its case challenging Los Angeles Unified School District’s implementation of Proposition 39.

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Prop. 39 Facilities Application Support Deadline Extended to October 28

Take advantage of pro bono assistance to help you with requesting and securing facilities under Prop. 39 with free legal help for CCSA members.

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Registration Open for 2014 Advocacy Day

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Join us for Advocacy Day 2014! Registration is now open to attend our annual event in Sacramento and to meet with your legislators, advocate on behalf of your school and the charter school movement and discuss CCSA’s policy agenda.

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New Video Featuring School Leaders: California Must Take the Lead on Accountability for Charter Schools

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Over the past several years, CCSA has worked hand in hand with our member schools to create an Accountability Framework. Hear directly from school leaders who have been involved in that work about why accountability is a top priority and how California charter schools are taking on this issue.

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Education Bills Update: Governor Brown Acts on AB 622

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Governor Brown’s has until October 13 to sign or veto bills and currently 121 bills are on his desk awaiting action. The Governor has vetoed the AB 622.

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Conference 2014: Last Chance! Register to Win a Trip to Beautiful Palm Springs + Receive Super Early Bird Discount

Register for the 21st Annual Conference any time before October 18 to receive the super early bird discount rate and you will be entered to win a complimentary 2-night stay in a resort suite including breakfast for two at the Renaissance Palm Springs.

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Announcing Prop. 39 Facilities Requests Free Legal Help Hours October 15 - 17

To assist member schools with requesting and securing facilities under Prop. 39, CCSA has partnered with experienced law firms to provide free legal help to CCSA members. Submit your draft Prop. 39 facilities by October 18.

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Conference Call For Proposals Due Oct. 11 & Register to Win a Trip to Palm Springs!

Register for the 2014 CCSA Conference on or before October 18 for a chance to win a complimentary 2-night stay in a resort suite including breakfast for two at the Renaissance Palm Springs!

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Verdict Update: People v. Selivanov and Berkovich

In April 2013, a Los Angeles County jury rendered verdicts of guilt on a variety of misuse of public funds, embezzlement and tax counts against two former Ivy Academia charter school founders, Eugene Selivanov and Tatyana Berkovich. On October 4, the Los Angeles Superior Court rendered sentences for both Mr. Selivanov and Ms. Berkovich.

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Education Bills Update: Governor Brown Acts on AB 308, AB 484 and AB 588

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Governor Brown has acted on three bills that CCSA is tracking. Any bills that made it through the end of session are currently marked as enrolled and are awaiting signature on Governor Brown’s desk. The Governor has until October 13 to sign or veto bills.

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LA Parents Call in to Radio Show with Diane Ravitch to Bust Charter Myths

Diane Ravitch recently came to LA to promote her new book which has lots of negative misinformation about charter schools. The charter school community rallied quickly to respond on the radio!

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How does CCSA's Accountability Framework Affect School Replications?

As part of our ongoing work to ensure transparency in accountability, CCSA established our Minimum Criteria for Renewal in 2011, which informs whether we will support a school’s renewal. But what about replications? Read how the updates adopted in June 2013 will affect how CCSA supports schools that are replicating.

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Education Bills Update: Governor Brown Acts on SB 97, SB 344 and SB 379

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Governor Jerry Brown has acted on three bills that CCSA is tracking. Any bills that made it through the end of session are currently marked as enrolled and are awaiting signature on Governor Brown’s desk by October 13.

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Bright Star Schools Expands to the San Fernando Valley

Bright Star Schools is proud to formally announce a merger with Valor Academy Charter School. Both organizations have made the decision to combine forces in order to grow their impact in Los Angeles. Learn more and read the full press release.

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Changes to CCSA's Minimum Criteria for Renewal

In June 2013, CCSA’s Board of Directors adopted several important changes to the Association’s Accountability Framework which were recommended by the CCSA Member Council. This includes changes to CCSA’s Minimum Criteria for Renewal. See more details and the timeline for this fall.

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Apply for Prop. 39 Facilities by November 1

Every charter school contemplating the need for district facilities should apply for Prop. 39 space within their district by November 1, 2013 so it’s critical to begin the process now.

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Updates on SB 97/AB 103 (LCFF Concentration Cap) and AB 948 (State Funds for Facilities)

CCSA asked members to make their voice heard on two important issues: facilities (AB 948) and funding (SB 97/AB 103). Thank you for taking the time to make advocacy a priority and reaching out to legislators on these important bills.

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Letters in Support of Charter School Founders, Eugene Selivanov and Tatyana Berkovich, Due Soon

Eugene Selivanov and Tatyana Berkovich are seeking assistance from the charter school community as they face sentencing for their convictions and are asking those interested to write a letter of support to the judge.

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Important Update: Mandate Block Grant Deadline

Applications due THIS FRIDAY for Mandate Block Grant funds: all charter schools must re-apply annually!

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50K Students on Waitlists for CA Charter Schools

Charter schools keep growing each year, but demand from parents continues to exceed the number of seats available, according to the latest numbers. See a breakdown by region.

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Update: No Child Left Behind Waivers

The U.S. DOE has approved CORE’s (California Office to Reform Education) waiver proposal from penalties for one year under the No Child Left Behind law for eight California school districts. Learn more about the specific waiver details.

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Public Records Act (PRA) Requests to Schools in Los Angeles

We have heard from a handful of schools located in Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) who have received requests from the AFL-CIO under the Public Records Act. If you have received one, please email Marisa Quintanar.

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Susan Steelman Bragato Scholarship Applications Open Next Week!

Do you know a graduating senior of a California charter school looking for scholarship money for college?

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Hart Vision Award Nominations Open Next Week!

Make certain your school’s teachers and volunteers are considered for the 2014 Hart Vision Awards! We will be awarding a teacher and volunteer from a charter school in California with the 2014 Hart Vision Teacher of the Year and the Volunteer of the Year awards.

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Activate Instruction: Free K-12 Online Common Core-Aligned Curriculum Tool

Activate Instruction is an open platform where teachers can browse, search, rate, add, share, and organize their favorite Common Core-aligned resources, and put them together in personalized playlists for students.

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Apply Today! Public Charter Schools Grant Program Planning and Implementation Grant

The Federal Public Charter Schools Grant Program (PCSGP) is administered by the Charter Schools Division and is now available. Grants are reviewed by peer evaluators and are awarded to nonprofit entities and local education agencies that are likely to develop and open high-quality charter schools.

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Reminder: Energy Efficiency Grant Update - Deadline August 1

LEAs, including direct-funded charter schools with 1,000 or less ADA reported as of the second principal apportionment for the prior year, are eligible to receive in the current year both the current and subsequent year Proposition 39 funding entitlements.

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Important information from the CDE on charter school funding

With school funding in California fundamentally changing with the implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula it is important to stay informed with updates from the California Department of Education.

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CCSA Board Approves Recommendations Regarding Accountability

The CCSA Board of Directors approved all of the recommendations regarding accountability presented by the Member Council.

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Member Council Makes Recommendations Regarding Accountability to CCSA Board of Directors

Recommendations included: the use of higher standards; higher levels of support including early warning efforts and supports for schools at risk; a harder push for quality data, and additional uses of the CCSA’s accountability framework in advocacy efforts.

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Sacramento City Charter Leaders Benefit from Collaboration (Video)

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Sacramento City Charter Leaders (SCCL) is a leadership group for autonomous charter schools that are authorized by Sacramento City Unified School District.

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Keeping Your Special Education Options Open- June 30 Deadline

Schools must submit a letter of intent to exit their SELPA by June 30 in order to maintain the option of exploring LEA status for special education or negotiating alternative special education arrangements for the 2014-2015 school year. The letter is non-binding, but must go in a year in advance. Click through for more information and our template letter.

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New Fact Sheet for Parents On the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)

What is the Local Control Funding Formula and what does it mean for charter schools? We’ve created a simple bilingual fact sheet you can share with your school community about this important issue.

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Announcement: Charter School Facilities Initiatives Survey Re-opened!

The Facilities Initiatives Survey has been reopened to continue to gather important data as the legislature may soon consider a Statewide School Facilities Bond.

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Update: Pavik v. Fillmore Unified (PERB Decision)

The Public Employment Relations Board renders an important decision in the Fillmore Unified School District regarding the ability of school district teachers to engage in charter school development and petition activities without fear of retaliation from a school district.

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New Video: Two Pieces of Advice for Renewing Schools

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Are you ready for your renewal? Don’t worry, CCSA is here to help! In less than one minute, Roy Cervantes of CCSA shares his top two tips in this video.

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May 2: District 6 Candidate Forum for Teachers

Teach Plus is hosting a free candidate forum open to all teachers - a great opportunity to meet the two candidates to represent the San Fernando Valley and to network with both charter and district teachers.

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California Supreme Court Grants CCSA Petition for Review of LAUSD Prop. 39 Case

On April 17, the California Supreme Court (Court) granted CCSA’s Petition for Review in CCSA’s case against Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) implementation of Proposition 39.

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Legal Update and Free Webinar: People v. Selivanov, Berkovich Trial

On April 5, 2013, a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury convicted Eugene Selivanov of twenty-four (24) felony counts and Tatyana Berkovich of three (3) felonies and five (5) misdemeanors related to the misuse of charter school funds as founders and former executive staff and board members of the Ivy Academia Charter School authorized by Los Angeles Unified School District. In collaboration with the law firm of Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch (Procopio), CCSA Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is co-sponsoring a free webinar on Friday, April 19, 2013 from 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm for charter schools and operators to provide an overview of the case and its potential consequences.

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LAUSD Elections Tool Kit

See a map and access printable handouts and templates you can use to engage your parents and school staff around the upcoming LAUSD election on May 21. All materials are non-partisan and appropriate for use on your school campus.

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The Capitol: What's at Stake for Charter Schools?

Charter school funding is at risk: every year we have to fight for fair funding for charter schools, and this year is no different. We call on you again this year to help defend against last minute attempts to cut charter school funding - legislators need to hear from their constituents why this funding is important.

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Get Monthly Content for Your Parent Newsletter

Each month, Families That Can provides a short, bilingual article that is easy for schools to include in their parent newsletter. Save this link!

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Opportunity to Talk to YOUR State Legislators-May 8th!

Let your voice be heard! Join charter leaders and parents from our region at the State Capitol in Sacramento on May 8.

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20th Anniversary Advocacy Day - Speak up for Charter Schools!

Let your voice be heard! Join charter leaders and parents from our region at the State Capitol in Sacramento on May 8

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20th Anniversary Advocacy Day - Join Us & Speak up for Charter Schools!

Let your voice be heard! Join charter leaders and parents from the Bay Area, North Coast and Central Coast regions at the State Capitol in Sacramento on May 8.

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20th Anniversary Advocacy Day -Speak up for Charter Schools!

Join charter leaders and parents from our region at the State Capitol on May 8 for the 20th Anniversary Advocacy Day.

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20th Anniversary Advocacy Day -Speak up for Charter Schools!

Join charter leaders and parents from our region at the State Capitol on May 8 for the 20th Anniversary Advocacy Day.

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20th Anniversary Advocacy Day - Speak up for Charter Schools!

Let your voice be heard! Join charter leaders and parents from our region at the State Capitol in Sacramento on May 8.

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Why Invite Elected Officials to Your School

Many local and state elected officials may not be familiar with charter schools, so take the opportunity to show them the good things happening at your school.

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Feb. 16: March for Educational Equality in LA!

Educators and parents from both charter schools and traditional district schools will “March as One” on Feb. 16 to ask mayoral and LAUSD board candidates to support educational equality. The event is coordinated by LA teachers in partnership with several community groups. Join us!

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LA Charters invited to join the Million Word Challenge

Families in Schools is launching their annual Million Word Challenge literacy campaign. Local charter schools can register to be part of the campaign, which kicks off city-wide on Feb. 4, 2013. Registration and participation are both free.

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January 2013 Update: CCSA v. LAUSD (Prop. 39 Litigation)

On Friday, January 4, the California Court of Appeal decided to publish the brief decision in CCSA’s Prop. 39 litigation against the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) that it originally issued on December 7, 2012. In the opinion, the court upheld LAUSD’s use of “norming ratios” when assigning classrooms to charter schools, finding that the practice is “consistent with the intent of Proposition 39.”

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Important Opportunity to Correct Errors in Free & Reduced Price Meal Eligibility

FRPM eligibility data reported in the California Department of Education’s (CDE) CALPADS system impact eligibility for many funding sources, including Title I, Economic Impact Aid, and the SB 740 Charter School Facility Grant Program. Act by November 14 to review and correct data.

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California Charter Schools Grow to Over 1,000 on 20th Anniversary of Movement; Enrollment Surges by 70,000 Students

This year, 109 charter schools opened across California, bringing the total to over 1,000, while enrollment grew by an unprecedented 17%. Statewide poll results also show growth in awareness and support of state’s charters.

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Update in CCSA v. LAUSD Prop 39 Facilities Equity Case

CCSA filed a motion in its ongoing case against Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) that challenged LAUSD’s compliance with Prop. 39, the state law that requires school districts to share facilities with charter schools. The briefing in the case is complete and the Court of Appeal has scheduled argument in the matter on November 28, 2012.

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SB 1290 Establishes New Renewal Standard for Charter Schools

Get the details on SB 1290, just signed by Governor Brown. It amends laws related to measurable pupil outcomes in a school’s charter and academic criteria for charter school renewal.

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Become CIVICS Minded: Nonpartisan Electoral Action

Our democracy is only as strong as the citizens that participate in it. Voting is the foundation of democracy and the sign of a strong community. It takes an active engaged public to ensure broad representation and that public officials are responsive to community concerns so learn how to become CIVICS minded!

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Oct. 26: You're invited to special City Council ceremony honoring charter schools

On Friday, Oct. 26, LA Councilwoman Jan Perry will be issuing a proclamation honoring the 20th Anniversary of the Charter School Movement.

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Zimmer Update - Call this Tuesday Oct. 23

LAUSD Board Member Steve Zimmer’s resolution is up for vote on Tuesday, Nov. 13 (right after Veteran’s Day) and we are coordinating a major parent rally in opposition in front of LAUSD. Save the date!

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Last-Minute Voter Mobilization

Read on for voter registration deadlines and other important election information.

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External Opportunity: Oct. 29: "Do Unions Drive or Restrain Student Success?" with UTLA's Warren Fletcher

Warren Fletcher, President of UTLA, will join a free Education Salon put on by the Los Angeles Education Partnership (LAEP) to discuss this complex question with several other panelists.

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Members: Access Prop. 30 Information and Resources

Have questions or concerns about appropriate activities related to Proposition 30? Learn what you can do, and find resources to help you advocate with your community.

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Who is my LAUSD board member?

Not sure which LAUSD board member represents your school? Find out here!

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Presentations from LA Regional Meeting on Oct. 2

Download the full presentation from the LA Regional meeting, including the presentation on your Prop. 39 options!

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Welcome to Roy Cervantes!

Roy has taken on the role of Los Angeles Regional Director and will work very closely with all charter schools authorized by LAUSD.

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New Videos Featuring Oakland Educators and Parents!

CCSA recently had the pleasure of shooting video with several long-time charter school leaders and a couple of parents in Oakland. Find out what they had to say about the impact of charter schools and their hopes for the future of the movement.

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Full Agenda and Important Parking Information for LA Regional Meeting on Oct. 2

Regional Charter Leaders Meetings are right around the corner. Our LA meeting is packed with great break-out sessions on everything from Common Core to Cash Flow, Special Education to Proposition 39. RSVP today!

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Major Rally at LAUSD Oct. 9! Planning call on Oct. 3

The charter school community will be out in force for the Oct. 9 LAUSD board meeting. Read the latest updates and use our easy tool kit to spread the word.

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Three Short Weeks Until the Anniversary Event! Find Out About Speakers, Raffle and More

The event will take place October 13, 2012, from 9:30 a.m. to noon, on the President’s Way Grass Area in Balboa Park.

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Countdown to Start of New Facilities Initiative

Starting October 1 - 31, CCSA’s Charter School Facilities Initiative, a detailed analysis of the issues and challenges facing California’s charter schools and their access to affordable, adequate facilities will officially begin.

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External Opportunity: Teaching Policy Fellowship

Teach Plus is working to develop an intellectual community of solutions-oriented teachers interested in engaging in conversation about issues related to the teaching profession and providing feedback and ideas to policy leaders. Are you interested in being a part? Apply by Oct. 21!

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New Facilities Survey Initiative

CCSA recently launched the Charter School Facilities Initiative, a comprehensive analysis of the issues and challenges facing California’s charter schools and their access to affordable, adequate facilities.

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SBE Approves Start-Up Grant Application: Webinar on September 19

The California Department of Education (CDE) will post a final Request for Application (RFA) in the coming days and offer a webinar on September 19. CCSA is providing additional information and technical assistance to help applicants.

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Tell Them You Plan to Vote

We’ve all heard the statistics. With so many issues on the ballot that will impact education, what can we do to increase the numbers of parents at the polls?

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Participate in Nonpartisan National Voter Registration Day

In 2008, 6 million Americans didn’t vote because they missed a registration deadline or didn’t know how to register. In 2012, we want to make sure no one is left out.

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250+ Charter Parents Come Out to Oppose Steve Zimmer's Resolution

We had a incredible turnout from parents at the Sept. 11 board meeting. Read the full account!

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CCSA's Legal Counsel Submits a Formal Response to Board Member Zimmer's Resolution

CCSA’s General Counsel issued a letter on Friday to LAUSD’s General Counsel, expressing concerns with the legality of Board Member Zimmer’s resolution and asking that the Board delay its consideration of the Resolution until CCSA’s concerns can be addressed.

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Mandate Block Grant Update: Letters of Intent Due October 1, 2012

The California Department of Education (CDE) is now accepting Letters of Intent to Participate in the Mandate Block Grant (MBG) program for fiscal year 2012-13.

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New: Proposition 30 Fact Sheet

CCSA has created a fact sheet about why Prop. 30 is critical for California’s public schools and why we support this initiative. The initiative is on the statewide ballot this Nov. 6.

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CCSA Responds To Report Blaming Charters For Private Sector Squeeze, Public Funding Strain

Jed Wallace, president and CEO of CCSA, discusses the positive impact charters have had in education over the past 20 years in response to a recent report blaming charters for private sector enrollment decline and putting more strain on the public system.

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Zimmer Introduces Resolution to Stop All Charter Growth in LAUSD

This week, LAUSD Boardmember Steve Zimmer introduced a resolution to postpone the approval of all new charter petitions. The resolution also would establish a new oversight committee and requires that all charters adopt ISIS by January 1, 2013. Get out the word to your parents and join us at the Sept. 11 meeting!

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ELL Legislative Briefing at State Capitol

Because CCSA strongly believes that the best way to make sure elected officials know about charter schools is by hearing from charter schools themselves, we recently held a brown bag briefing on “English Language Learners in California’s Charter Public Schools.”

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CCSA submits letter to Superintendent Torlakson regarding SB 740 concerns

We have heard from many members about problems with receiving SB 740 (Charter School Facility Grant Program) funding in a timely manner and have been working with Superintendent Torlakson and his staff at the California Department of Education (CDE) non-stop on this important issue.

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Update on Mandates Block Grant

Learn how to take advantage of the new Mandate Block Grant to access funds for mandates.

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CCSA submits letter to Superintendent Torlakson regarding PCSGP concerns

We have heard from many members regarding problems with the administration of the Public Charter School Grant Program (PCSGP) and have been consistently working with Superintendent Torlakson on these important issues.

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Teach Plus Workshops: How To Get Your Voice Heard

Teach Plus is offering two free workshops this summer for teachers on July 25 and August 1. Learn how to tell your story for impact and write op-eds and blog posts for publication!

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New Poll Shines Light on Teacher Satisfaction at Charters vs. Traditional Schools

What’s it like teaching in a charter school versus teaching in a traditional public school? How are teachers feeling? CCSA recently did a statewide poll of teachers to find out.

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Update on Transitional Kindergarten

It is the position of the California Charter Schools Association that the applicable law, SB 1381, regarding Transitional Kindergarten does not require charter schools to offer Transitional Kindergarten.

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See what you missed from CCSA's Renewal Webinars

Is your renewal coming up? Check out the presentations from our recent webinars.

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Important Update on Transitional Kindergarten for LA Charter Schools

Los Angeles charter schools recently received a letter from the LAUSD Charter Schools Division regarding Transitional Kindergarten. This informative is intended to help you respond to the letter and to understand the California Charter Schools Association’s reading of SB 1381.

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Charter Leader Speaks out on Huffington Post

When we heard about a major cut to charter schools in the latest budget proposal, members from across the state responded in force. Judy Burton, leader of Alliance College Ready Public Schools, spoke out publicly in the media in a great piece on Huffington Post.

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"Why are my teachers leaving?"

This week, Teach Plus released a new report featuring recommendations from charter teachers on how to increase teacher retention at charter schools. A must-read!

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An Important Update from Bay Area Regional Director, Elaine Guarnieri-Nunn

It is with mixed emotions that I am letting you know that I will be leaving CCSA to take on a new opportunity beginning June 25.

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Applied for a Public Charter School Grant Program (PCSGP) Grant?

If your school applied for a PCSGP grant, commonly called the “start-up grant”, CCSA wants to hear from you.

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Parents Come Together to Build Garden at San Jose Charter School

Parents from Bullis Charter School in Los Altos recently partnered with parents at Escuela Popular in San Jose to build a new garden and play structure.

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CCSA files motion in its Prop. 39 case against LAUSD challenging LAUSD's classroom space allocation to charter schools.

CCSA requests that the court order LAUSD to re-calculate the number of classrooms allocated to charter schools under Prop. 39 using the method required by the regulations.

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Now is the Time to Advocate for Funding Equity in the State Budget

Your voices will continue to make the difference in our funding equity efforts.

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Retirement Benefits at Risk - Take time to Speak Out

Many people have been asking me about the proposed IRS regulation regarding STYRS/PERS.

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2012-13 May Revision Budget Brief

CCSA closely tracks the state budget for its impact on charter schools, and provides periodic Budget Brief documents at important budget junctures. On May, 14 Governor Brown released the May Revision to his 2012-13 budget proposal. The proposal maintains current funding levels for schools and begins to pay back some deferrals.

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LA Regional Meeting Features Special Sessions on Budgeting and Fundraising

In response to member interest, our May 30 regional meeting is offering some in-depth sessions on these key topics - see more details including the presenters and don’t forget to register today!

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Capitol Update 5/10/12

Included in the Capitol Update this week:
* California Legislature Recognizes National Charter Schools Week
* Legislative Update
* Budget Update
* Federal Update
* State Board of Education Takes Several Actions on Charter Schools
* Building a Special Collection of Charter School Documents

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CCSA Announces Changes to the LA Advocacy Team

Allison Bajracharya has been promoted to Vice President of Regional Advocacy and Corri Ravare is being promoted to head the LA Advocacy Team, in addition to her current responsibilities as Executive Director for Families That Can.

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Why the 2012 Elections Matter

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The 2012 elections will impact California’s policy environment for years to come.

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Capitol Update 4/26/12

Included in the Capitol Update this week:
* Budget Update - Your Actions Made a Difference
* Legislative Update
* Charter Schools Facilities Update
* Environmental Charter High School wins U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Award

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Important Special Education Updates

If your school is interested in pursuing LEA status for the 2013-2014 school year, you must submit a letter notifying your existing SELPA of your intent to exit the SELPA by June 30, 2012. CCSA has resources, including a May 3 workshop, to assist charters in understanding and exercising your options for serving students with special needs!

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Start Early for Renewal Success

Over the past few years, an increasing number of charter schools across the state have faced difficulty when seeking renewal of their charters. To position your school to best meet these challenges, we strongly suggest that renewing schools submit renewal documents early.

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Capitol Update 4/19/12

Included in the Capitol Update this week:
* Action Alert: Key Budget Hearings Next Week on Charter School Items
* Action Alert: Continue Allowing Retired Teachers to Return to the Classroom
* Legislative Update
* IRS Pension Plan Proposal: Update & What You Can Continue To Do
* National Charter Schools Week is Coming Soon
* PCSGP Deadline Approaching
* PCSGP Readers Needed

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Public Charter Schools Grant Program (PCSGP) Readers Needed

Want to participate in the Public Charter Schools Grant Program (PCSGP) application review process as a peer reviewer? Here’s your chance!

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Act Now to Protect Charter School Teacher Retirement Funds

Proposed federal regulations will affect 90% of the charter school workforce - including California teachers — so take action today.

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Celebrate National Charter Schools Week May 6-12, 2012

The 12th Annual National Charter Schools Week is around the corner. CCSA has resources to help you celebrate, and raise awareness on charter schools.

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Supt. Deasy Tells District Staff To Stop Hostility Around Proposed Co-Locations

CCSA has been made aware of some recent instances of hostility by District staff and students towards charter schools which have been offered co-locations at LAUSD facilities. Supt. Deasy wrote a letter this week telling staff to stop this behavior.

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Jardin de Infancia Renewed by LACOE

On Tuesday, April 10, Jardin de la Infancia’s renewal petition was unanimously approved by the LA County Office of Education board. A BIG congratulations to Jardin!

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Parents Tell Bennett Kayser: "Stop Attacking Charters!"

LAUSD Board Member Bennett Kayser announced he wouldn’t support anything charter-related, Families That Can immediately put out an action alert. Parents responded in force and have already sent more than 300 emails.

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Parents from Vincent Academy Featured by Families That Can

Vincent Academy was the only new charter school to open in Oakland this year. Meet a couple of the parents who are excited to have this option for their son, featured this week on the Families That Can website!

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Recruitment of Educators to Serve on the English Language Arts Focus Groups

Are you an educator interested in helping shape what students learn in the classroom? Find out how you can participate.

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Have you received your final Prop. 39 offer?

On April 1, districts were required to provide charter schools who requested district facilities under Proposition 39, final notifications. If you have not received a final notification, CCSA recommends that you follow up with a letter requesting a final offer immediately.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Welcome to our New LA Team Member!

I am excited to introduce our members to Marisa Quintanar, the newest Regional Director on the Los Angeles Advocacy team. Marisa, a former teacher, was first introduced to charter schools through her work at East LA Community Corporation and with HMC Architects. She has most recently been engaged in political and communications consulting work.

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Don't Miss LA Member Events at Conference!

We can’t wait to see many of you at the annual Charter Conference next week in Sacramento! We’re particularly excited to be in Sacramento this year and for the charter funding-equity rally on Wednesday. We’d like to highlight four events that might be of interest to LA members.

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The 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference & Advocacy Week kicks off today!

More than 2,500 charter school leaders and supporters join together in Sacramento.

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Portrait of the Movement Report and Member Resources Available Online

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Find individual school results; disaggregated reports comparing charter and traditional public school results by region, county and district; an interactive map that shows all charter and traditional public schools; and more.

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Being Proactive About Student Safety and Open Communication with Parents

A recent alleged sexual child abuse situation at a Los Angeles Unified school has many school leaders thinking about how to ensure they have strong systems in place to protect students and how to have an open conversation with their parents and a healthy environment. Chris Ferris, leader of Our Community School, decided to communicate proactively with her parents about these issues. We’re sharing the text of that letter as a resource for other school leaders.

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Encourage Your Parents to Sign up with Families That Can

To build the long-term advocacy strength of our movement and to continue to increase our impact, we know we need to be able to harness the power of charter school parents. To that end, we’re asking our member schools to contact their parents to have them sign up to Families That Can. We need your help!

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Gates Collaborative Work Unfolds

As one of 16 cities that has signed a district-charter compact, we, alongside LAUSD, submitted a Concept Paper to the Gates Foundation this week. The focus of the paper is to increase services and supports for special education populations within a pilot group of schools with the intent of increasing academic outcomes for all special education students.

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Connect with Local Charter Leaders At the Charter Schools Conference

Hard to believe that the 19th Annual Charter Conference is only one week away! We hope you’ll join CCSA’s LA Advocacy team and your colleagues from around the Los Angeles Region to gear up for the Funding Equity Rally and connect on issues specific to our region. We will convene at two Conference Regional meetings on Tuesday, February 28 at 6 pm in the Conference Center Rooms 305 and 306. Wine and cheese will be served!

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Key Resources from the LA Regional Meeting

The LA Charter Leaders Meeting on January 26 featured great break-out sessions on the state budget, funding options, and special education, many of which highlighted key member resources. Get the info or find out what you missed!

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Capitol Update 2/9/12

Included in the Capitol Update this week:

* Legislative Update
* Advisory Commission on Charter Schools (ACCS)
* Success at the California School Finance Authority (CSFA)
* Conference Is Around the Corner…

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LAUSD Redistricting Meetings kick off this week

Key public meetings about redrawing the lines for LAUSD boardmember districts start tonight, Monday, Feb. 6.

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Feb. 4 Rally is a HUGE Success - Thanks to you!

WE DID IT. More than 100 LA charter schools turned out more than 5,000 parents, teachers and students for the rally Saturday. All of you should be incredibly proud of what we achieved with this event - we showed our strength, but more importantly, we showed the depth of our commitment to making sure every student in Los Angeles has a high-quality public school.

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Feb 29: Rally at the State Capitol During CA Charter School Conference

Are you inspired by the giant rally in Los Angeles last weekend to take action on behalf of charter schools? We have a great opportunity for you coming up in just three weeks.

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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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What Are You Planning for National Visit a Public Charter School Day?

As part of National Schools Choice Week (January 23-27, 2012), the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools would like to invite you to participate in National Visit a Public Charter School Day. National Visit a Public Charter School Day invites legislators, reporters, and community business leaders to tour high-quality public charter schools on Wednesday, January 25, 2012.

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"2012 California Charter School Laws and Regulations: An Annual Compilation of Selected Provisions" Addresses Key Laws

As we told you in the December 22, 2011, Capitol Update, some new education laws will go into effect on January 1, 2012 that may impact your school. CCSA’s “California Charter School Laws and Regulations: An Annual Compilation of Selected Provisions” contains all the relevant legislative and regulatory changes affecting charter schools in 2012. The booklet is a handy reference for charter school operators and board members— bookmark it or print it out and keep it handy for easy desk reference.

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Families That Can: The Voice of CA Charter School Parents

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Check out our new video on Families That Can, a statewide organization of charter school parents. Families That Can educates, empowers and mobilizes parents to hold our leaders accountable for ensuring every child has access to a high-quality public education.

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Feb. 4: City-wide Rally of Charter Supporters!

LA’s charter community will show our strength and raise our voices on Feb. 4 to make sure that our leaders put students first! We hope every charter school in LA will engage their parents, teachers and students to participate.

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Jan. 26: LA Regional Charter Leaders Meeting

Save the date for the next Los Angeles regional meeting! These meetings are a one-stop shop to get the most critical updates and connect with other charter leaders. RSVP today!

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CCSA To Develop an Informed Advocacy Position on 3 STRS/PERS Issues

After a hosting a call on Dec. 20th , CCSA is working to develop an informed advocacy position on LACOE STRS/PERS fee structure, timeline for payments and flexibility in terms of opting out of STRS/PERS.

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Capitol Update 12/22/11

Included in the Capitol Update this week:

* New Education Laws Taking Effect on January 1, 2012
* Have you made your voice heard on AB 1172?
* Green Ribbon Schools Award Program
* Applications Being Accepted for the SBE’s Instructional Quality Commission
* 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference—New Year Discount!

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Save the Date: LA Citywide Rally Feb. 4!

On Saturday, Feb. 4, we hope that you and your school community will join local families, elected officials and the greater education reform community from across Los Angeles for: “Schools We Can Believe In” Citywide Rally for Excellent Schools. Call in this Thursday, Dec. 22 to find out more.

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Capitol Update 12/19/11 Action Alert

We didn’t plan to issue an Action Alert before the new year; however charter school detractors are at it again…

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Have You Participated in our AB 1172 Action Alert Yet?

AB 1172 would allow a school district to deny a charter school if it finds that the charter school would have a negative fiscal impact on the district. Make your voice heard; participate in our Action Alert today!

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CCSA Calls for the Non-Renewal of 10 Charter Schools Not Meeting Minimum Performance Criteria

CCSA emailed members last Thursday, December 15, with details of the Association’s call for the non-renewal of ten charter schools from across California that are below CCSA’s Minimum Criteria for Renewal. If you missed that email, or if you’d like additional information, take advantage of these online resources.

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Charter School Construction Projects Given $46.2 million

The State Allocation Board apportioned proceeds from the recent bond sale to school facility program construction projects.

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Stay Tuned During the Holidays: Legislature Back-to-Session on January 4, 2012

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Recently, charter school leader Dave Patterson sat down with students from the Rocklin Academy Schools to discuss the importance of participating in Action Alerts and other charter school movement-wide advocacy efforts. Please take a few minutes to watch the video, and keep an eye out for emails from CCSA in the coming weeks.

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Capitol Update 12/13/11

Included in the Capitol Update this week:
* Trigger Cuts Enacted: Reductions to K-12 Are Less Than Initially Feared
* Multiple Tax Initiatives Vying for November 2012 Ballot; Governor’s Proposal Polls Well
* Stay Tuned During the Holidays: Legislature Back-to-Session on January 4, 2012

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Multiple Tax Initiatives Vying for November 2012 Ballot; Governor's Proposal Polls Well

In light of California’s continued fiscal problems, multiple initiatives designed to raise additional revenues for schools and other state programs have been filed for the November 2012 ballot.

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POSTPONED: Dec. 19: Strategy Session with LA Members

The planned Dec. 19 strategy session with LA Members has been postponed to after the New Year. We’ll let you know the new date as soon as possible!

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Sign up for Newsletters from the LAUSD Board

Have you ever wondered where exactly an LAUSD boardmember is coming from? A great way to get insight into the boardmembers’ perspectives and key priorities is to sign up for their e-newsletters and check their web pages and blogs.

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LAUSD Board Votes on "Founding Parent" Resolution this Tuesday

The LAUSD board will vote on a resolution introduced by Bennett Kayser that seeks to clarify policy on the use of “founding parent” preferences by LAUSD-authorized charter schools. CCSA will be speaking in favor of the resolution.

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LAUSD Augmentation Grant Applications Due Jan. 13

LAUSD has sent out the RFP for its Charter Augmentation Grant Program, a key source of funding for charter facilities.

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Dec. 20: Share your Concerns About LACOE STRS/PRS Contracts

We understand that several of you have concerns and challenges with your LACOE STRS/PRS contracts. To ensure we clearly understand the problems, the Los Angeles Regional Advocacy and CCSA Legal team are hosting a call on Dec. 20 at 1 pm to hear input from all of you.

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Defense Authorization Bill Clears Senate: Changes Enlistment Policies for Online Charter School Graduates

Online learning is no longer a small pilot program; thousands of students are learning via this model each year. CCSA encourages federal law that recognizes online education and treats it equally with other forms of educational delivery.

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Frequently Asked Questions about CCSA's Public Call for Non-Renewal

Schools have had the opportunity to review their results on CCSA’s Minimum Criteria for Renewal via the Academic Accountability Report Cards since mid-October. After the data corrections period, CCSA will make public the results for all schools, identifying those that are below the Minimum Criteria for Renewal, and calling for the non-renewal of schools in renewal below that criteria.

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CDE Announces Charter School Division Director

The CDE has officially announced the appointment of Julie Balthazar to the position of Charter School Division Director.

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First 2011-12 Charter Renewals Will Go Before LAUSD Board on Tuesday

The first wave of LAUSD charters who are up for renewal this year will be before the Board this Tuesday, Dec. 6. Discovery Charter Prep, Fenton Avenue Charter and Primary Center, Global Education Academy, Los Angeles Leadership Academy and Puente Charter School are all being recommended for renewal by the LAUSD Charter School Division.

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LAUSD Superintendent Releases New Charter Renewal Framework

The Charter School Division has sent out a letter and board informative unveiling the District’s new School Performance Framework that will be used as “one criterion to analyze charter schools that are making their renewal requests this academic year.”

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Magnolia Public Schools' Alumni Come Together at 4th Annual Thanksgiving Event

Magnolia Public Schools celebrated the achievement of its graduates during a special Thanksgiving luncheon on November 26 at its flagship school Magnolia Science Academy 1 in Reseda. About 100 MSA alumni, seniors, teachers and administrators attended the event. CCSA’s Myrna Castrejón and Brian Johnson of Larchmont schools both addressed students at the event.

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Recent Legislative Visit with Senator Kehoe

We had another very successful legislative visit at San Diego Cooperative Charter School last week.

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LAUSD and UTLA Reach Tentative Contract Agreement

While we congratulate LAUSD on reaching an agreement with UTLA, we are disappointed that it will exclude charters from any transformation or reconstitution process over in the next three years, effectively dismantling Public School Choice and other reconstitution processes for charters.

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Aspire Applies in 3rd Round of Public School Choice

As you all know, the third round of Public School Choice has been a challenging one. That is why I would especially like to recognize Aspire Public Schools for stepping up and submitting a strong application today to run a middle school under PSC.

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Public School Choice Reviewers Needed!

LAUSD is looking for a number of educators and parents to review Public School Choice applications. This is a great opportunity for the charter community to support reform in LAUSD by ensuring that the best PSC applications are recommended for new and underperforming schools.

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CCSA Files Legal Brief Supporting Charter School Flexibility

The Fifth District Court of Appeal accepted CCSA’s amicus curiae brief filed in Squillacote v. Ridgecrest Charter School. In this case, an “at-will” teacher filed a lawsuit challenging her dismissal by the charter school, claiming it did not comply with the Education Code provisions applicable to school districts. CCSA weighed in to protect charter school freedom from these statutorily imposed teacher employment practices.

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Prop. 39 at Work in Northern California

Our visions is for every charter school in Northeastern California to have a facility that meets the needs of their program. That means having a safe, welcoming site (or sites) that is affordable and enhances the school’s educational program and desire to grow (or not!).

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Past and Upcoming San Diego-Area Legislative Visits

The local charter community has had some luck getting legislators out to visit our charter schools this fall. It requires some tenacity but if you are persistent, visits can happen. Read about two schools’ successful visits and find out how you can get involved in an upcoming meeting with Congressman Filner.

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Capitol Update 11/16/11 Important Budget News

Included in the Capitol Update this week:

* Legislative Analyst Forecasts Budget “Trigger” Cuts for Education
* Charter School Wins at the State Board of Education

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Kayser introduces resolution on "founding parents" at charter schools

LAUSD board member Bennett Kayser has introduced a resolution seeking to clarify policy on the use of “founding parent” preferences by LAUSD-authorized charter schools. Overall, the resolution aligns with CCSA’s position which is that charter schools should be able to give a preference to parents who were involved in the start-up of the school, but that it is ill-advised and inappropriate for this preference to be extended past the opening period. Read CCSA’s letter to boardmember Kayser.

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Nov. 19: Aspire invites you to grand opening of Juanita Tate Elementary

Aspire Public Schools was selected to run a new elementary in south Los Angeles in the second round of the LAUSD Public School Choice initiative. Aspire invites other local charters to join them in celebrating the grand opening of Juanita Tate Elementary this Saturday, including the dedication of a mural honoring the late community activist, Juanita Tate.

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Washington Prep Removed from Public School Choice

LAUSD announced this week that Washington Prep High School will no longer be part of the third round of Public School Choice.

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OCS Affirms its Commitment to Serving all Students

With the recent media scrutiny and LAUSD board interest in charter school admissions practices, it’s more important than ever for charters to publicly share their commitment to serving all students. I’d like to give a shout out to Our Community School for proactively addressing this issue!

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Capitol Update 11/3/11

Included in the Capitol Update this week:

* Renewal and Parent Empowerment Regulations Approved by Office of Administrative Law
* Charter School Facilities Program Funding Round Notification
* Update on SBE Revocation Regulations

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Charters speak out in Myth-busting Campaign at LAUSD Board Meetings

Recently, there has been an onslaught of misinformation and anti-charter rhetoric at Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) board meetings. Local charter schools have been speaking out about their programs and their impact on communities to dispel these myths during the public comment sections of every meeting and they’re already having an impact.

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Families That Can engages with the Don't Hold Us Back Coalition to push reform

Families that Can and CCSA are working with a coalition of minority and civil rights groups to push education reform in LAUSD, including supporting the Public School Choice initiative.

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Public School Choice 3.0 will move forward

The Los Angeles Unified School District has announced that, as of this moment, the third round of PSC will move ahead with charter schools applying side by side with in-district applicants. CCSA is recommending that charter schools move forward with their applications to ensure as many highly qualified applicants apply as possible.

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CCSA Receives National Recognition for Portrait of the Movement Report

This week, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) presented the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) with the “Award for Excellence in Advancing Knowledge” for the Portrait of the Movement report at their Annual Leadership Conference. The award validates CCSA’s continued efforts on accountability.

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Prop. 39 Application Deadline Is Next Week!

The deadline for charter schools to submit Proposition 39 applications to their district is this Tuesday November 1, 2011, for facilities for the 2012-13 school year. As one of CCSA’s top priorities, we would like to encourage schools to submit their applications as soon as possible.

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Budget Trigger FAQs

Get answers to your questions about the “budget trigger,” which would implement automatic cuts to education if state revenues fall below specified projected levels.

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CCSA Responds to Article on "Founding Parents"

A recent article in LA Weekly was very critical of some local charters’ use of “founding parents.” CCSA responded to the article and will be working with schools and the district to give clear guidance and recommended best practices in admissions.

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Capitol Update 10/20/11

Included in the Capitol Update this week:

* Governor’s Actions Reflect His Experience
* Budget and Finance Update
* Race to the Top, Early Learning Challenge
* Conference Update
* African American Student Performance in Charters

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Congressman's staff tours Orange County Charters

Journey and Capistrano Connections had a great visit from Congressmen Campbell’s Legislative Assistant, Danica Dawson.

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Ask Your Prop. 39 Questions Now: "Office Hours" Back by Popular Demand!

CCSA’s legal experts will be hosting their final “Office Hours” session for this year’s Prop. 39 applicants on Thursday October 20, 2011. If you have any questions about your application, or want more information on resources, and templates, register to join the session today!

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Key Concerns with New LAUSD Prop. 39 Request Form

CCSA’s legal team has reviewed LAUSD’s new facilities request form and we want to alert you to some key concerns, as well as provide a template cover letter.

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Pro Bono Legal Review Extended to Oct. 25

Since LAUSD took so long to release its application, CCSA is providing pro bono legal review to schools in LAUSD through Oct. 25.

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We need to hear from you this week!

Just 46% of LA-area schools have completed the School Leader Survey so far- let’s hit 100%! This annual survey collects critical school-level data that CCSA uses to guide our advocacy in the coming year.

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Oct. 20: Option 3 Meeting

The Governance Council will be discussing service sharing options, the OIG audiet report and the OIM Enrollment Practices Report.

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LA Regional Meeting Presentation (Oct. 11, 2011)

The full presentation from the LA Regional Charter Leaders Meeting at Vaughn Learning Center

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OUSD Releases New Prop. 39 Application Form

Request your facility now - OUSD has released the new Facilities Request Form!

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LA-area schools eligible for for CA Distinguished Schools Program

The CA Department of Education has released a full list of schools that are eligible to apply to be CA Distinguished Schools based on a variety of accountability criteria. Congrats to the nine charter schools located in Los Angeles and Ventura counties!

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Charters School Approvals Impacting Authorizer Decisions in the Central Valley

The Visalia Unified School District approved the the Sycamore Valley Charter Academy petition at their meeting Tuesday in a 6-1 vote. The school will open in August 2012.

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Can Charter School JPA's Help Serve Special Needs Kids Better?

Across Northeastern California, charter schools are collaborating to increase their capacity to serve student with special needs well. Formalizing these collaborations into Joint Powers Authorities (JPA) can help provide stability and structure for charter participants.

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Cielo Vista Charter School Receives its Five-Year Renewal

Cielo Vista Charter School in Palm Springs, a one year-old conversion charter, just received its five-year renewal from the Palm Springs Unified School Board.

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CCSA Fall School Visits Underway in the Inland Empire

Steven Holguin, CCSA’s Regional Director for the San Bernardino and Riverside County Region, is currently scheduling and visiting ALL the member schools within the region.

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Public Hearings for New Inland Empire Charter School Petitions

If you are a school developer, you should consider attending a public hearing from a petitioner who has already submitted. Learn how the meetings go and what the expectations are for public hearings. Also it is great to come and support new high quality start-ups that CCSA is also supporting.

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Current Prop. 39 Co-Locations in LAUSD

IIn the 2011-12 school year, some LA-area charter schools used classrooms at existing LAUSD campuses under a Prop. 39 agreement. See a full list of the sites of current co-locations.

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A Message from Lisa Berlanga: Regional Meetings and Prop. 39

Regional meeting wrap-up and information on Prop. 39 resources for San Diego-area schools.

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Capitol Update - 10/10/11 Special Edition

Over the weekend, the Governor signed and vetoed hundreds of bills. Among them were dozens of education bills, both charter school specific, and bills that affected California’s broader public education system. We are very pleased that the Governor has come out strong (and in no uncertain terms) in defense of charter schools.

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LAUSD Releases New Prop. 39 Application Form

Demand your facility now - LAUSD has released the new Facilities Request From!

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Public Hearings for New Inland Empire and Orange County Charter School Petitions

If you are a school developer, you should consider attending a public hearing from a petitioner who has already submitted. Learn how the meetings go and what the expectations are for public hearings. Also it is great to come and support new high quality start-ups that CCSA is also supporting.

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KIPP is Making a Difference for African American Students in Oakland

Last week, one of our local charters, KIPP Bridge, was featured in CCSA’s report “Chartering and Choice as an Achievement Gap Closing Reform: The Success of California Charter Schools in Promoting African American Achievement”, which details the performance and enrollment trends of African American students in California’s public schools, including charter schools.

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Butte County Office of Education Convenes Charter Leaders

Charter leaders from Chico, Paradise, Nord, Forest Ranch and other communities in Butte County in participated in a luncheon hosted by the Butte County Office of Education (BCOE) to increase collaboration between BCOE and charter operators.

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Report on African American Performance in Charters; Sacramento School Highlighted

Last week, one of our local charters, PS7, was the venue for our statewide public release of the much anticipated “Chartering and Choice as an Achievement Gap Closing Reform: The Success of California Charter Schools in Promoting African American Achievement” report, which details the performance and enrollment trends of African American students in California’s public schools, including charter schools.

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Legislative Visits are Critical

It is critical that our legislators understand charter school issues— what better way for them to learn about them than to see and hear directly from the students, parents and staffs of charter schools?

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Critical School-Level Data Needed

CCSA’s “School Leader Survey” requests information that is absolutely critical for our organization to effectively advocate for the needs of your school, this region and the Movement at large—needs like facilities, financing and special education.

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First SDUSD Board Meeting of the School Year

SDUSD had their first charter board meeting of this school year with three charter issues; a Special Education MOU, a material revision for a grade expansion for O’Farrell Community School and a public hearing for San Diego Global Visions (SDGVA) to add a middle school.

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Larchmont's Brian Johnson named "Reformer of the Month"

Congratulations to Brian Johnson, Executive Director of Larchmont Schools in Los Angeles, who was named “Reformer of the Month” for September by Democrats for Education Reform.

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Watts Learning Center Featured in CCSA Report on African American Performance In Charters

This week, CCSA released a statewide report detailing African American performance and enrollment trends in charter schools, as well as best-practices for effectively teaching African American students.

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CCSA Releases African American Student Performance in Charter Schools Report

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CCSA releases Chartering and Choice as an Achievement Gap-Closing Reform report, which details the performance and enrollment trends of African American students in both charter public and traditional public schools. The report shows that charter schools serving African American students more effectively.

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Capitol Update 9/29/11

Included in the Capitol Update this week:

* Federal Advocacy Efforts
* Advisory Commission on Charter Schools (ACCS)
* CDE Seeking Charter School Division Director

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Register now for the LA Regional Meeting, Oct. 11

The Los Angeles Regional Charter Leaders meeting is set for Tuesday, Oct. 11 at Vaughn Next Century Learning Center in San Fernando. Look forward to networking and key updates on local issues - we want to hear from you!

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Together CCSA and Our Members Made Great Progress Towards Key Advocacy Goals in 2010-11

CCSA is proud to share highlights of the key advocacy wins for the charter school movement from this past year.

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New Web Resource: Charter School Enrollment Law Overview

Have you fielded questions from your authorizer about admissions and enrollment policies at charter schools? Our new overview of key laws around enrollment might provide some helpful background.

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LAUSD Independent Monitor Issues Report on Charter Admissions Policies

In response to concerns from parents that that charter schools were requiring parents to provide information regarding special education eligibility and services on lottery application forms, the Office of the Independent Monitor (OIM) recently conducted a review of applications and enrollment forms of LA area charter schools.

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Federal Government Outlines Waiver Process for No Child Left Behind (NCLB)

Today, President Obama outlined a new federal waiver process to allow states flexibility from some of NCLB’s sanctions if they meet several conditions.

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We Must Speak Out to Dispel Charter Myths

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Despite the success of charter schools or perhaps because of it, myths about charters continue to persist. Jackie Elliott, a charter leader in Los Angeles and representative for CCSA’s member council shares why it’s critical for schools to share their stories and what her school community is doing to counter these myths.

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Option 3 Governance Council Met Sept. 19

The council elected Brian Bauer of Granada Hills Charter High School Council Chair, Jackie Elliot of PUC Schools was voted Vice Chair.

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Submit your Renewal Petition ASAP

Have you already sent your renewal petition to LAUSD? Let us know - we’re recommending everyone submit as soon as feasible for their team.

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Key court decisions this week pave path for district-charter reforms

Two favorable legal decisions this week signal new opportunities for California’s charter schools and the school districts who partner with them to enact local reform. The Los Angeles teachers union has filed two legal actions related to the LAUSD Public School Choice reform initiative since it was passed in 2009.

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Peter C. Groff's Departure from National Alliance

Peter C. Groff, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, leaves his post after a year of leadership in the charter school movement nationwide.

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LAUSD Special Ed and Renewal Updates

A governance meeting has been scheduled for the Charter Operated Program of the newly reorganized LAUSD SELPA/Option 3. Also, a “heads up” about an upcoming meeting for 2011-2012 renewing schools.

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First Prop. 39 Town Hall is a Success

CCSA’s town hall meeting with LAUSD’s Sean Jernigan went well, with lots of information exchanged. A second meeting will be planned for October.

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Capitol Update - 9/13/11 Special Edition

This time-sensitive communication was shared with schools that received funding from the Charter School Facility Grant Program (SB 740 Program) in the past, and may be eligible for this funding stream this year.

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Former Union Head Says Charters Burn Out Teachers, Don't Perform - What Do You Say?

Have you ever read a negative article about charter schools that just got your blood boiling? Despite the incredible growth and success of charter schools in California, there are still many misconceptions about them among the public, which sometimes show up in media coverage. If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “Someone should really respond to that,” take five minutes and share your point of view!

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Capitol Update - 9/9/11

Included in the Capitol Update this week:

* Charter Schools Facility Grant Program (CSFGP-SB 740 Program)
* Legislative Update
* Congress Debates Federal Charter School Law
* State Board of Education (SBE)

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Non-profit Seeks Nominations for Parent Engagement Award

Do you know someone who has successfully promoted parent involvement and best practices for parents to support their children’s education? Nominate them for the Excellence in Parent Engagement Award!

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Capitol Update - 9/7/11 Special Edition

We wanted to be the first to tell you the latest news about legislation that CCSA is supporting. Read the details.

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Capitol Update 9/2/11

Included in the Capitol Update this week:

* Legislative Update
* Don’t Miss Out on Your Chance to Shape 2012 Conference Programming
* API Scores Released

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LAUSD Board Approves Changes to Public School Choice

On Aug. 30, the LAUSD board approved major changes to the Public School Choice initiative, potentially giving in-district applicants priority in applying for new schools.

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LAUSD Superintendent Affirms Commitment to Develop Long Term Facilities Program

We are pleased to announce that Superintendent John Deasy has affirmed his commitment to continue to develop long-term facilities solutions for charter schools as a way to relieve Prop. 39 demands. As a result of our recent efforts and communications with LAUSD, the Superintendent is requiring staff to articulate a process for distribution of bond funds through the use of augmentation grants, in order to support continued development of long term facilities solutions.

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13 Candidates Running for San Bernardino City Unified School Board

In a year that has seen a great deal of turnover in San Bernardino City Unified, there are now 13 candidates looking to take a seat on the SBCUSD School Board.

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Does Chico Unified "Work Well" with Charter Schools?

Who is John Bohananon, the director of alternative education for Chico Unified School District, trying to convince?

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New Bay Area Special Education Joint Powers Authority

An enthusiastic and strong team of charter leaders recently met and decided to develop a Special Ed JPA with CCSA support. They are busy designing a unique JPA structure with a goal to help Bay Area schools like theirs better serve all students with special needs.

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Demand Your Proposition 39 Facility

As charter schools begin the school year, it is important to start planning for the upcoming Proposition 39 deadlines. Prop. 39 facilities provide charter schools with valuable buildings, for minimal costs, thereby enabling them to redirect the funds normally expended on leases towards what is most important…the classroom.

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Help us pack the LAUSD board room Aug. 30!

This Tuesday, the LAUSD board might vote to not allow charter schools and community groups to apply for new school sites. The board members need to hear from you and your parents!

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Governor Brown Announces Job Growth Proposal

Governor Brown announced a new proposal today to spur job growth.

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Capitol Update 8/25/11

Included in the Capitol Update this week:

* Legislative Update
* Charter Schools Win at the State Allocation Board
* California Weighs in on Possible No Child Left Behind Waiver
* Charter School Facility Grant Program (SB 740 Program)
* Transition to Common Core Standards

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Make Your Voice Heard; Participate in the #AskArne Twitter Town Hall

An opportunity for folks from the California charter community to connect directly with United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan!

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Aug. 31: LAUSD Renewing Schools Meeting

CCSA is hosting a meeting for LAUSD-authorized charter schools that are up for renewal on Aug. 31

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Help Us Pack the LAUSD Board Room on August 30

LAUSD boardmember Steve Zimmer’s resolution to give in-district teams preference in their Public School Choice applications for new schools goes to a vote on Aug. 30. Help us pack the board room in opposition to this anti-reform measure!

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Capitol Update 8/18/11

Included in the Capitol Update this week:

* Legislative Update
* California Redistricting Commission Finishes Its Work
* State Allocation Board
* Public Charter School Grant Program
* News from the California Department of Education (CDE)

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News from the California Department of Education

Learn how to access your school’s STAR Program test results, and how you can apply for an appointment to serve on the Child Nutrition Advisory Council.

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CDE receives smaller than anticipated PCSGP grant

USDOE decreases the grant amount to CDE for the 2011-2012 year

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Charter School Facility Grant Program

The California Department of Education continues to process applications for the Charter School Facility Grant Program in their effort to complete disbursements for the 2010-11 grants. Find out what your school needs to do.

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You Can Help Stop Sacramento from Attacking Charters!

The most significant way to make sure that your legislators are working for your schools is to build a relationship with them.

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Possible Changes to California's Public School Accountability System

One of the big policy changes still being discussed this year is SB 547, which completely revised California’s API system, and creates a new Education Quality Index, or EQI. Because a change like this would have such far reaching implications for charter schools, we have prepared a members-only briefing memo on SB 547, and its implications for charter schools. We encourage you to download and read it today.

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Capitol Update 7/23/11

Included in the Capitol Update this week:

* State Budget: Countdown to July 1
* Legislative Update
* ESEA (also known as No Child Left Behind) Reauthorization Moves Forward
* State Allocation Board

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CCSA Opposes Resolution That Would Prevent Charters From Applying for New PSC Schools

LAUSD Board Member Steve Zimmer has introduced a resolution, to be voted upon on August 30, that would allow only in-district and pilot school applicants to apply for new schools under the Public School Choice initiative.

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Capitol Update 7/15/11

Included in the Capitol Update this week:

* Build a Relationship with Your Legislator During Summer Recess

* Legislative Update

* State Board of Education

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Schools Can Modify LAUSD Special Ed Outreach Statement

Did the LAUSD Charter School Division ask you to include a special education notice on all materials? CCSA supports the goal of informing parents, but feel free to modify the recommended wording.

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Capitol Update 7/7/11

Included in the Capitol Update this week:

* 2011-12 Budget Brief Posted
* Legislative Update

* Pupil Demographic Requirements
* Local Authorizer Input
* New and Expanding Charter Schools Reporting Deadline

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Capitol Update 6/30/11 - Special Message from Jed Wallace

Included in this special Capitol Update message from Jed Wallace:

* Legislative efforts to address charter school management and governance

* CCSA reaches agreement on charter school governance, finance and operations
* Bills provide clarity, address accountability, and increase access to quality facilities

* Get more information, share your feedback

* State budget passed; watch for new Budget Brief

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Local Schools Meeting with Legislators

Last week, representatives from Leonardo da Vinci Health Sciences, Darnall and Arroyo Paseo attended a meeting at Senator Vargas’s office to discuss legislation that is relevant to charter schools.

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Capitol Update 6/23/11

Included in the Capitol Update this week:

* State Budget: Countdown to July 1

* Legislative Update

* ESEA (also known as No Child Left Behind) Reauthorization Moves Forward

* State Allocation Board

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Major Update in Prop. 39 Litigation

We are pleased to announce that CCSA and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) have agreed to stay the Proposition 39 litigation, which this year, has enabled more than 16,000 LAUSD charter school students to return to district buildings.

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Help Accessing School Bond Funding

CCSA wants to help charter schools access this funding and provide much needed cash to charter school projects.

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Families That Can Offers Tips on Connecting with Your Legislator

How can parents have an impact in Sacramento? How do you get a meeting with your legislator? What is the process for a proposed bill to become a law? Get the details from Families That Can.

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