August 2010

8/27/10 Charter News Round-Up

Charter school news for the week ending August 27, 2010.

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CCSA Statement on Race to the Top

Jed Wallace, President and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA), released the following statement today regarding the federal government’s decision not to award California a Race to the Top school-reform grant.

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Fact Sheet: CSBA et al. v. State Board of Education (Aspire)

Court Ruling Could Have Implications for Statewide Benefit Charter Decisions

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LAUSD Unveils Most Expensive School Ever Built, While Charters' Needs Are Not Met

The most expensive school ever to be built in California and the nation opened its doors in the Los Angeles Unified School District this week, amidst one of the worst budgetary times our state has seen. At the same time it has built what many are calling a “Taj Mahal school,” the district has consistently refused to offer charter schools equitable facilities and use of space, despite the fact they are required to do so by law.

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8/20/10 Charter News Round-Up

Charter school news for the week ending August 20, 2010.

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Public School Choice Charter School Opens In LAUSD

CCSA and Camino Nuevo welcomed students to their first day of school at Jose A. Castellanos, one of the first Public School Choice schools to open its doors. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education President Monica Garcia were on hand to commemorate the occasion. The school’s opening—and the entire Public School Choice (PSC) program—is an important step in education reform.

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CCSA Urges Collaboration for Public School Choice 2.0 Process As Students Begin Classes in Round One PSC Charter School

CA Charter Schools Association Urges Collaboration for Public School Choice 2.0 Process As Students Begin Classes in Round One PSC Charter School

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CCSA Applauds Federal Government Commitment to Charter Schools With Charter Schools Program Extension

Jed Wallace, President and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA), released the following statement today regarding the announcement by U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan of a $136 million award to 12 states, including California, to increase public school options.

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Seeking Funding Equity for Charter Schools at Every Level

As state and federal revenues continue to be in short supply, many localities are seeking to supplement their education funding with local measures. Most prominent among these local measures are local parcel taxes - a local property tax that allocates funds for a specified purpose. A local school district board of education has the authority to place a property tax on the ballot, requesting that local voters agree to levy the additional tax on behalf of local public schools.

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Charters Embark on Strategic Planning at Performance Management Institute

More than 20 charter schools recently gathered together at Stanford University to participate in a Performance Management Institute (PMI), receiving valuable coaching around strategic planning. The institute introduced attendees to performance management, a framework for managing the execution of an organization’s strategy.

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Chico News Review Response: Article Based on Assumptions and Incorrect Data

“The new segregation” by Leslie Layton (August 12, 2010) is a disappointingly one-sided look at Chico’s charter schools. Layton’s article, and the UCLA Civil Rights Project report referenced in it, were based on assumptions and incomplete data, and solely focus their findings on demographics and “exposure” to diversity, rather than the academic performance of charter school students.

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New Special Education Option in Los Angeles County Offers a Model for SELPAs

As a result of collaborative work with the State Board of Education, California Department of Education, Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPAs) and districts, charters continue to see increased options that bring with them increased flexibility in funding, governance structure, management, and availability of high-quality programs in order to successfully serve students with special needs.

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Renewals Advocacy Takes Center Stage in Northeastern California

Across the state, CCSA has seen charter schools, even those with strong track records and seemingly good relationships with their authorizers, struggle through renewal. In many cases this struggle is caused by what CCSA has deemed authorizer “over regulation.” Long Valley Charter School (LVCS) in Lassen County was poised to be another casualty of a difficult renewal process, until persistence, stakeholder support, and access to CCSA resources saved the day.

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Groundbreaking Deal Could Revolutionize Funding for Charters

In a potentially groundbreaking financing deal that closed earlier this month, Birmingham Community Charter High School in Los Angeles received $3 million for working capital through a Revenue Anticipation Note (RAN) offering. This was the first-ever RAN financing using a state-intercept mechanism to close in California for charter school working capital, and this structure has the potential to assist more charter schools moving forward.

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August 2010 Spotlight on Success

The charter school movement is dependent upon the hard work of visionary founders, leaders, and authorizers, plus dedicated teachers and volunteers and inspired students. The Association is proud to recognize several of them this month.

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Univision Shines the Spotlight on Charters in L.A.

Univision will feature Caminio Nuevo Charter Academy Principal Ana Ponce, as well as Myrna Castrejón, Senior Vice President with the California Charter Schools Association, discussing the opening of Jose Castellanos, a school opening as part of the Public School Choice education reformation and transformation process in the Los Angeles Unified School District. In addition, charter school growth and the strength of the movement will be discussed.

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"Whose Civil Rights" Examines Civil Rights Groups' Challenge to Race to the Top

“Whose Civil Rights” is a reflection on the challenge mounted by a group of civil rights leaders to the Obama administration’s Race to the Top program.

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"Waiting for Superman" Starts Conversation About Public Education

“Waiting for Superman” offers an exhaustive review of public education, surveying drop out factories and academic sinkholes, methodically dissecting the system and its seemingly intractable problems. The film also explores innovative approaches taken by education reformers and charter schools that have refused to leave their students behind.

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Calls for Balance and Fairness as SBE Looks to Set Standards for Low-Performing Schools

The State Board of Education will consider new standards for identifying low performing charter schools in September, calling also for more accountability at their time of renewal. CCSA has long supported increased accountability for charters, but is aiming to make the process a balanced one.

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CCSA Statement on the State Board of Education's Unanimous Approval of New Common Core Standards

The SBE vote means California will join 28 other states in creating a uniform set of common academic assessment for students in English language arts and Math.

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Press Contact

If you are a member of the news media, please contact Emily Galbreth at: (412) 559-8571 or egalbreth@calcharters.org.

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