Oakland Leaders, Community Celebrate 20th Anniversary of California Charter Schools

October 13, 2012

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PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release

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

OAKLAND, CA - Oakland area leaders joined local charter school leaders and supporters to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the signing of the California Charter Schools Act, with a community rally and information expo at Preservation Park on Saturday. Charter schools are tuition-free public schools of choice that are open and serve all students. Oakland charter schools are some of the most diverse schools in the state, and serve around 25% of the student population, one of the highest rates.

"California's charter school law has initiated a broad reform movement consisting of parents and educators who are coming together to create new schools which are better meeting the needs of students and encouraging improvement throughout our public education system. As more charter schools open and as more Californians become aware of the great new options that charter schools are creating for communities across the state, we see a growing recognition that the charter school movement is becoming one of the most important reform efforts to have happened in many years," said Jed Wallace, president and CEO, California Charter Schools Association (CCSA).

The community expo gave the community the opportunity to engage directly with many charter schools in order to keep the momentum for the next generation of students.

"Today we're here to celebrate the incredible successes of Oakland's charter schools, but also to rally together to keep up the momentum for the next generation of students," said David Castillo, Oakland Regional Director for the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) and formerly principal of Oakland Unity High School.

In the fall of 1992, Governor Pete Wilson signed SB 1446, better known as the Charter Schools Act, making California the second state to formally establish the creation of charter schools. The charter movement has transformed public education, and heralded in an era in which parents and communities can create schools of choice for their children and have greater flexibility and richer learning environments in exchange for added accountability.

Oakland currently has 40 charter schools, serving over 12,000 students. Approximately 25% of Oakland's public school students attend charter schools. This year, California has over 1,000 charter schools and over 450,000 students, the most of any other state in the U.S.

Others in attendance at the Oakland event included Poet Chinaka Hodge, who is currently in residency at Headlands Center for the Arts, who emceed the event, as well as the Getback Band, which provided entertainment. Alumni, parents, and current students also joined the celebration.

The California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) held celebratory events in San Jose and San Diego this weekend to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the charter movement. CCSA is planning other events throughout the year in different cities.

For more information on the 20th Anniversary of charter schools in California, visit http://anniversary.calcharters.org.

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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If you are a member of the news media, please contact Emily Galbreth at: (412) 559-8571 or egalbreth@calcharters.org.

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