February 10, 2012:
L.A.'s "Schools We Believe In Rally" Brought Thousands Of Parents Together
Last Saturday, more than 5,000 parents from across Los Angeles rallied in Exposition Park for better schools and equity for all students. The "Schools We Can Believe In" rally was the biggest charter parent rally in California, and perhaps the nation, and included speakers such as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Corri Ravare from Families That Can, LAUSD Board President Monica García, and LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy. To read some of the coverage, see the articles in the Los Angeles Daily News, Education Week (Subscription Only) and Neon Tommy. For more information on the rally, watch the playlist on CCSA's youTube channel.
Charter Schools Under Attack With AB 1172
Another big issue for charter schools over the past few weeks has come out of the State Capitol, with the proposed [Assembly Bill 1172[(/advocacy/statewide/ab1172.html), which, if approved, could severely impact charter school growth by empowering districts to deny charter petitions based on fiscal impact. The bill is now in the Senate, but continues to generate discussion, including an editorial by the Appeal-Democrat, which characterizes it as an attack against charters, as well as pieces in Patch.com and Union Watch.
Prop. 39 Facilities: The Good And The Bad
This week we also learned that the Capistrano Unified School District would be closing an under-enrolled district school at the end of the school year to give the facilities space to its current co-location charter, Oxford Prep Academy. The offer by the district was made under the Prop. 39, which states that districts must give charter schools access to "reasonably equivalent facilities." Allowing the school to use the building in its entirety will allow Oxford Prep to expand enrollment of its K-8 program. To read more on this, see the article in the Orange County Register. Further north, Bullis Charter School received a Prop. 39 offer that was unexpected. After a court ordered the Los Altos School District to comply with Prop. 39 in the case of Bullis Charter, the district gave the school an offer for non-contiguous space. This means that the charter would be essentially split in two. To read what's happening, see the editorial in Mountain View Voice, as well as pieces in Patch.com and the Los Altos Town Crier for the latest on the negotiations.
Granada Hills Charter High Students Win Regional Academic Decathlon For Second Straight Year
Gearing up for the state and national Academic Decathlon, last year's winner of both, Granada Hills Charter School, is ready to go all the way to the finish line. This week, students of the San Fernando Valley area charter participated in local and regional academic competitions, taking top honors in LAUSD's Super Quiz as well as the Regional Academic Decathlon. Read about their success in the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Daily News and NBC Los Angeles.
Inspiring Charter School Stories
Other publications also featured stories of competitions in which charter school students are excelling. The Sacramento Bee, for instance, published a story of a Natomas Performing Arts Charter student who won a poetry competition. Read the story here. Also, Grass Valley charter students' efforts to prevent their local state park from being closed due to budget cuts paid off. They went to the Capitol and Governor Brown's office with thousands of signatures in hand, and the message to save the Yuba River State Park. See their inspiring story in the Capitol Public Radio and the Sacramento Bee. And to finish this week on a positive note, we want to highlight an article that allowed charter parents to express their reason for joining the movement, and what it has meant to their kids. That article appeared in the Lodi News-Sentinel.