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March 7, 2012 This letter by a 13 year-old student at The Classical Academy is one of 730 submitted to Governor Brown this year around the theme of increased support for charter school funding. Since its inception three years ago, the Letters to Leaders Initiative has generated more than 1,600 letters written by Classical Academy parents, students, faculty and staff.

Dear Governor Brown,

I am writing today to thank you. You don't know me, but indirectly you have a made a significant difference in my life. I am 13 years old and I attend a charter school in San Diego. The same charter school that I have been at since I was in kindergarten.

The Classical Academy in Oceanside is my school of choice for more reasons than I have room to write, but mostly because of the fact that our program has allowed me to grow and thrive academically and socially. Our classrooms with only 20 students has made my learning personal, because my teachers really know me and what I need on any given day. That's a lot to say in this era of overcrowded classrooms with limited supplies. Even with the limited budget our school performs with (15% less than traditional public schools), I know that I have the very best teachers and program available. Resourcefulness abounds and our leaders have vision. I am thankful that the administrators and faculty had the vision to make this school what it is today. It is truly a gift. Thank you for supporting our efforts through legislation that will put the monies in place to keep our schools not only open, but a leading force in what education will look like, feel like, and be in the future.

As we head into the coming months of legislation I want you to know that I sincerely appreciate everything that you do and are doing for students like me all across our great state. Navigating these difficult times takes vision and creativity. Thank you for yours.

Most sincerely,
Erich Stein

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