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July 27, 2012

Big Week For School Facilities

Not only is the beginning of the school year for our charters right around the corner, the November elections are quickly approaching. With that in mind, several school districts are focusing their efforts on improving school facilities. For instance, the San Diego Unified School District approved this week a facilities bond aimed at not only improving and renovating current school facilities, but also building new space. The bond stipulates that charter schools in the district will receive a fair share of the revenues. CCSA was at the Board Meeting this week to testify, along with local charter students. Read our Statement, as well as stories featured in the U-T San Diego the NBC-news local affiliate.

The vote came only a few days before a UC Berkeley report was issued outlining the need for improved school facilities across California. You can read more about that in a post from EdSource Today. Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson also underlined the need for facility improvements, as reported by Cabinet Report and the Contra Costa Times, just as Oakland Unified officials promoted their recently approved facilities bond--which excluded charter schools from being benefitted. See the story in KGO-TV.

Staying on the subject of charter school facilities, Stockton City Planners green-lighted a plan to convert a historic downtown building into the new home of local TEAM charter school. Despite objections from Stockton's former Mayor, the City Council deemed the project sound, and the charter, which has been in operation since last year, is supportive. Read the Stockton Record for more details.

State Board Of Education To Fight For Oversight Of Six Aspire Schools:

After a few weeks following an order from an Alameda County Superior Court Judge invalidating Aspire's Statewide Benefit status, the California State Board of Education announced it will contest the ruling. At issue is the oversight of six schools, which would have had to seek local authorization next year without the appeal. See articles in California Watch and Cabinet Report to see what this will mean.

Parent Trigger Upheld By Court

In a separate court ruling, parents of a failing Adelanto area elementary school scored a major victory when a Superior Court Judge ruled that the signatures gathered to "pull the trigger" met all the requirements previously invalidated by the local school district. The Judge also ordered the district to begin reform efforts at the school, including plans to convert the Desert Trails Elementary School into a charter. See what Fox News reported on the parent's efforts and empowerment here, and also check out Editorials in L.A. area newspapers, including one calling the effort a "winning reform" for public education in the Los Angeles Daily News and another in the Los Angeles Times which calls for more clarity in the law.

California Charters In The Spotlight

And as we wrap up another week, we want to take the time to highlight some of the positive stories of California charter schools and students profiled in the media. One that caught our attention was this one from the Chico Enterprise-Record, about a student from Blue Oak Charter, who not only won top honors in a statewide science competition, but was invited to a local museum as a special guest to talk about his project. Further south, in Los Angeles, residents are celebrating the city's Grand Park opening, and on hand for the celebration were dancers from our Charter School of the Year, Gabriella Charter, who entertained attendees. Read about that in the Los Angeles Daily News. Students from another L.A. area school, Granada Hills Charter, traveled to our Nation's Capital, where they met with top education and local leaders to celebrate their recent National Decathlon Championship. The Los Angeles Daily News had the story. And in San Diego, Helix Charter High School officially welcomed their new Executive Director, Michael Lewis. Articles in the U-T San Diego and Patch.com for more on Mr. Lewis' background.

Have a great weekend!

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