May 22, 2012: CCSA fights for charter schools every day in Sacramento, working on legislation, regulations, and budget matters that make a difference to your school's bottom line. This year, we are highly focused on the funding equity issues plaguing California's charter public schools.
In January, Governor Brown introduced his proposed budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year. Included in that budget were several common-sense charter school budget proposals that would reduce bureaucracy, streamline operations, and provide charter schools with new cash flow options.
As part of the budget process, each Spring the budget subcommittees in the Assembly and the Senate review the areas of the budget under their jurisdiction. As CCSA prepared for the education subcommittees to vote on the charter school items, it became clear that these proposals would face an uphill battle in their subcommittee hearings. That's where you came in.
With 17 hours before the Assembly subcommittee was set to take action, CCSA issued an urgent Action Alert to our members, and you responded in force. From emailing, calling, and showing up in person, the Assembly subcommittee heard from 13 charter school advocates defending the Governor's proposals. And when the Senate subcommittees met just days later, you responded again, with school leaders coming to testify in Sacramento from as far away as San Diego.
CCSA's Government Affairs team is a strong advocating force for you in the Legislature. Add a person from the field who can speak to how these proposals would help their charter school, and our strength increases exponentially. As Laney Holmer, a Westlake Charter School parent testified, "All of the thousands of volunteer hours cannot overcome the funding inequalities that charter schools have compared to other public schools, as well as the inevitable cash-flow crisis that we encounter." Your voices will continue to make the difference in our funding equity efforts.
Because of your actions, despite some negative votes, all of the charter school items are either still alive for a vote at a later date or headed to the budget conference committee for further discussion. Thank you again for your advocacy and for standing up for your schools. Your participation and presence made a difference.
On May, 14 Governor Brown released the May Revision to his 2012-13 budget proposal. The proposal maintains current funding levels for schools and begins to pay back some deferrals. Members, learn more by visiting www.calcharters.org/budgetupdate.
Looking for some inspiration to take the first step in advocating for your school? Watch this video of passionate school leaders delivering a message to Legislators, and access CCSA's Legislative Advocacy Toolkit.