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

August 18, 2010

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PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
August 18, 2010

Contact: Vicky Waters, CCSA
(415) 505-7575
vwaters@calcharters.org

SACRAMENTO, California (August 18, 2010)
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.

The award is part of the federal Charter Schools Grant Program administered through the California Department of Education, and will financially assist startup charter schools.

"President Obama's Administration has been very supportive of charter school growth and expansion, and we are grateful for his continued commitment to make a high-quality education accessible to all students.

"This is especially good news for charter schools in this tough economy. Many charter schools are opening their doors this year, offering thousands of seats for students. We want to keep that momentum moving forward."

California will receive the largest award, $51.7 million, which will be allocated to charter schools through the California Department of Education. CCSA would like to thank the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jack O'Connell, and the CDE for their work in competing for this grant.

President Obama has also requested an increase to the Charter Schools Program, which is a competitive grant that provides financial assistance to new charter schools--including start-up costs, implementation, and dissemination of information to the community on charter schools.

The CDE will be responsible for disbursing the funds to applying charter schools. However, the budget stalemate may present challenges, as no money can be awarded without a state budget in place.

California has received grant funding from the Charter School Program since its inception in 1994. The grants are awarded competitively to eligible new charter schools . In 2007-08 alone, the state made one-time planning and implementation grants of between $250,000 and $600,000 to 65 charter schools. In fiscal year 2009, the federal government allocated $216 million in charter school grant funding.

About the California Charter Schools Association

The California Charter Schools Association is the membership and professional organization serving 809 charter public schools that educate more than 341,000 charter school students in the state of California. The Vision of the California Charter Schools Association is to usher in a new era in public education so all students attend independent, innovative, accountable schools of choice. The Mission of the California Charter Schools Association is to influence the legislative and policy environments, leverage collective advocacy, and provide resources to support our members in developing and operating high quality, charter schools reflective of California's student population. For more information, please visit www.calcharters.org.