Rally Delivers on CCSA Promise to March for All Public School Students and Schools
Sacramento, CA – The California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) today hosted the Stand for All Students Rally with over 6,000 charter school families, students and leaders coming together to demand a public education system that prioritizes kids over politics. They also called for legislators to fully fund and defend great schools and deliver for all students throughout the state.
“For too long we’ve seen our most marginalized students overlooked in policy conversations,” said Myrna Castrejón, President and CEO of CCSA. “We want more equity for, and greater investment in, our students most in need. 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 and funding gap in California. That’s why thousands of us are marching together today to demand California’s Legislators prioritize kids over politics.”
Public education is a lifeline for families throughout the state who need better options and want a brighter future for their kids. In an effort to support these families and lift students up, CCSA also unveiled a number of legislative priorities designed to close the achievement gap among African American students, better support special education students and fully-fund California’s public schools.
“In too many parts of this state, families do not have access to a quality public education. Charter schools are providing an educational home that is meeting the needs of African American students in exceptional ways and supporting our special needs students. Our public education system must do more to lift up our students who struggle the most and California must start by fully funding all of our public schools,” said CCSA Board President and Fortune School President and CEO Margaret Fortune.
Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) agreed, saying:
"We cannot look the other way anymore. African American kids in California persistently fall behind academically. Parents have been patiently waiting for something to change, but it has not. Providing additional resources for the lowest-performing students is now no longer an option, but a necessity.
Additionally, Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) also voiced support for the legislative package that delivers for all students:
“As a classroom teacher, I’ve seen first-hand the learning potential students with disabilities possess and how that potential can be fully maximized by being educated alongside their general education peers. We must do more to provide relief for all public schools that are doing the hard work of educating students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment possible, which we know improves outcomes for general education students and students with disabilities, alike.”
To deliver for all students, CCSA is sponsoring:
- AB 575 (Weber): Increases funding and requires greater accountability for the education outcomes of African American students by establishing a permanent LCFF supplement specifically targeting the lowest performing unfunded subgroup, African American students.
- SB 614 (Rubio): Expands inclusion opportunities for students with disabilities in all public schools by establishing the Inclusive Pathways Cost Pool, which would reimburse charter and traditional public schools for inclusive placements of high cost students with disabilities.
To defend great schools, CCSA is opposing:
- AB 1505 (O’Donnell): Eliminates all charter appeals, all state and countywide benefit chartering, and allows districts broad discretion to deny a new or renewing charter. The elimination of due process in chartering decisions would eliminate any accountability in the chartering process and thwart the needs of local families, teachers, and communities.
- AB 1506 (McCarty/O’Donnell): Imposes a cap on new charters. Limiting new high-quality public education options without regard to local need traps the most vulnerable students in failing schools.
- AB 1507 (Smith): Prohibits any charter school site from being established outside of its authorizing district. Narrow and extraordinary exceptions to charter locations outside of the authorizing district should be allowed.
- AB 1508 (Bonta): Allows districts to deny new charter petitions based on the fiscal, academic, and facilities impact of new charter schools on school districts. Chartering decisions should be based primarily on the quality and viability of the proposed charter school.
These bills are misleading, divisive, and premature. Legislation of this magnitude should first be subject to an evidence-based, research driven process which is being undertaken by the Charter Task Force that’s been convened at the direction of Governor Gavin Newsom and under the leadership of Superintendent Tony Thurmond. The task force is expected to deliver a final report on July 1, 2019.
To demand full funding for all public schools, CCSA is supporting:
- AB 39 (Muratsuchi): Nearly doubles the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) – California’s school funding law - target rates to increase K12 funding.
- The association also supported the passage of SB 126 a balanced, fair application of the Ralph M. Brown Act, California Public Records Act, Political Reform Act, and Government Code 1090 to California’s charter schools. Nearly a decade in the making, this legislation preserves the core autonomy and flexibility that charters schools have been granted under the Charter Schools Act which allows them to innovate for students.
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.
Caity Heim, CCSA