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March 1, 2012

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release

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

SACRAMENTO, California.--Today, the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) presented Senator Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) with the Hart Vision Award for Elected Leader of the Year at the 19th Annual Charter Schools Conference, which was held this week at the Sacramento Convention Center.

"Senator Huff is the model of a dedicated public servant, and he is a committed charter school champion," said Jed Wallace, President and CEO, CCSA. "He has been an outstanding force in education at the Capitol. On every bill introduced in recent years to turn back the clock on charter schools, Senator Huff has been a stalwart partner with CCSA and a champion for protecting the integrity of the California Charter Schools Act."

Senator Huff currently serves the 29th District and is the Senate Republican Leader in the California State Senate. He is also a member of the Senate Education Committee.

Senator Huff has been a leader in expanding school choice for parents and students, including two reauthorizations of the School District of Choice program, the creation of the Open Enrollment Act and the nationally recognized "Parent Trigger" law. He advocates for greater flexibility for all public schools, not just charter schools, so that they can make decisions that put students first.

Back in 2005, Senator Huff authored Assembly Bill 740, which dramatically reformed the categorical block grant, including garnering additional per pupil funding in the grant - upwards of $200 additional dollars per student. In 2006, recognizing the needs of charter schools for safe and adequate facilities, he introduced two bills designed to expand access to the SB 740 facility grant program, a battle CCSA is still fighting today.

Senator Huff continued his fight for charter school facilities on the State Allocation Board in 2010, where he helped ensure charter schools had access to state bond funds for charter school construction projects, and has consistently defended charter schools against disproportionate budget cuts in his role on the Senate Budget Committee, ensuring all public school students, including those in charters, are treated equitably.

"I am deeply honored by this recognition and will continue to support the charter school and school choice movement in California," said Senator Huff. "Charter schools not only provide students of all backgrounds with a top-notch education, but also serve as an educational laboratory that informs the rest of the public education community on what really works in the classroom."

The Hart Vision Awards were established in 1995 in honor of Gary K. Hart, retired California State Senator and former California Secretary of Education. While serving as state senator, Hart sponsored the legislation that established California charter schools. The goals of the Hart Vision Awards are to recognize and honor annually individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and excellence in education.

The California Charter Schools Association has hosted the Charter Schools Conference for 19 years, offering resources, guidance, and advocacy support to a membership that has grown exponentially.

The California Charter Schools Conference ran from Monday, February 27 to Thursday, March 1, 2012.

This year's Conference theme is "You are the Charter School Movement."

About the California Charter Schools Association

The California Charter Schools Association is the membership and professional organization serving 982 charter public schools and more than 412,000 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.

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