NOTE: CCSA President and CEO Myrna Castrejón is available for phone interviews. Please contact Caity Heim at 916-926-8234 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
LOS ANGELES, CA - Independent charter public schools are open and focused on maintaining a stable, high-quality learning environment. Student, parent, and staff safety is our top priority. During the strike, the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) is committed to supporting our members.
CCSA President and CEO Myrna Castrejón today issued the following statement in response to the UTLA protest at CCSA's Los Angeles office.
"Teachers, nurses, librarians and counselors do some of the most important and difficult work in Los Angeles - regardless of whether they work in a traditional, magnet, pilot or charter public school. We are grateful for everything they do, and agree that they need and deserve more support from our communities, the district, and the state," Castrejón said. "Their advocacy has focused much-needed and overdue attention on the need to increase resources for all California public schools. We should be marching together in Sacramento demanding increased statewide funding for our most vulnerable students."
As an independent nonprofit organization, CCSA is not a part of the contract negotiations between UTLA and LAUSD, nor are the public schools that make up CCSA's membership. In 2018 there were 225 independent charter public schools in Los Angeles serving more than 110,007 students. Independent charter public schools in Los Angeles serve students who are 85% Latino and Black, 80% low-income, and 12% students with disabilities, and they are learning at high levels and attending college at higher rates.
"The teachers, principals, and leaders at charter schools serve the exact same kids and have the exact same concerns about the decades-long student achievement gap in Los Angeles," Castrejón said. "Thousands of Los Angeles families choose to enroll their kids in both charter or district operated, magnet, pilot and other types of traditional public schools. For them, the issue isn't about politics, it is about what their child needs and what learning environment will help them thrive. We are proud that our charter public schools in Los Angeles continue to provide families with great school options that are opening the doors of opportunity, achievement and equity, particularly in areas of our city that are most historically underserved."
Since the strike began yesterday, independent charter public schools have been open and focused on maintaining a stable, high-quality learning environment. Student, parent, and staff safety is our top priority. Additional information about how Los Angeles charter public schools are handling the strike is available here.
"Thousands of inspiring Los Angeles educators dedicate their lives to helping kids thrive at both district and charter public schools. What unites us is so much more powerful than what divides us, and has more potential to improve kids' lives.'' Castrejón said. "Our state's public schools are in desperate need of greater investment and support and better mechanisms for our school districts to confront the dual, structural challenges of declining enrollment and pension obligations that are squeezing monies away from classrooms. We hope that LAUSD and UTLA are able to come to a quick resolution so we can focus our collective energy on the priorities we share."
About California's Charter Schools
California's charter schools are public schools built to put the needs of students first. Public, free, and open to all, charter schools are a valuable part of our public education system. They offer a different approach -- one that is as unique as the kids they serve, one that puts kids above bureaucracy, and one that gives passionate teachers the flexibility to create dynamic lesson plans tailored to kids' individual needs. As a result, charter schools send more kids to college and are preparing more kids for the jobs of tomorrow.