Region Overview: San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties


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Spanning San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties, the greater San Diego region is home to more than 180 charter schools. Together these schools provide a variety of choices to families-- including independent study, project based learning, college preparatory, international baccalaureate, and German Chinese and Spanish Immersion, just to name a few. Our largest concentration of charter schools is in the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD), which is home to nearly 50 charter schools.


As we celebrate over twenty years of charter schools in California, schools in this region continue to grow and thrive. Some schools have long histories of performance and support to students in the region while others are newly beginning to serve students in the region. While challenges still remain for charter schools in San Diego and the surrounding areas, there have been many important successes as well. There are also a number of exciting charter school activities in the region that are illustrating the positive impact that charter schools are making in providing high-quality education to students.

San Diego Unified School District Passage of Proposition Z - Local School Facilities Bond
In November of 2012, the San Diego Unified School District in partnership with CCSA and the charter community passed a $2.8 billion dollar school facilities bond. As part of that funding, charter schools were allocated a percentage of the bond proceeds for charter school specific projects, and a seven member committee of charter community members was created to act as the body to make recommendations on how the currently estimated $350 million dollars of charter school funding should be spent.

20th Anniversary Celebration and Rally at Balboa Park - October 13, 2012
More than 500 charter leaders, teachers, staff, parents and students attended an inspiring rally to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of California Charter Schools. Speakers included Jed Wallace, CCSA President and CEO, Richard Barrera, San Diego Unified Board Member, charter school students and parents. This event celebrated the impact of charter schools in San Diego over the past 20 years.

El Sol Santa Ana Science and Arts Academy, Santa Ana Unified School District
The El Sol Santa Ana Science and Arts Academy broke ground in 2013 to build a new facility to provide higher quality facilities to their students by replacing portables. This project is the culmination of a partnership with the community and the school district to use multiple funding sources. This would not have been possible without a partnership with the school district to allow for a 40 year lease on the property. The first phase of construction is expected to be occupied as early as January 2014.

e3 Civic High Opens September 2013, San Diego Unified School District
The new downtown San Diego Central Library is home to an innovative educational experience for high school students in San Diego. e3 will open in September 2013 on the sixth and seventh floors of library. The school will focus on ensuring that all students are prepared for college, career, and civic engagement. This unique setting in downtown San Diego will allow students to utilize the resources of a state of the art library in the downtown business center where partnerships, internships and civic activities are prevalent.

Contact Miles Durfee, Managing Regional Director, Southern California for more information about the region.

CCSA Families

The CCSA Families team works hand in hand with charter school leaders to empower parents to be highly-effective advocates for their school and for all charter schools. As we expand into the Southern California Region over 23 Charter Leaders have signed the CCSA Families Pledge. This number continues to grow each day. As the Director of Parent Advocacy and Community Engagement we work with parents around issues that are directly affecting their school, whether it is state funding, facilities or charter renewals, as well as statewide issues that affect all of us.

Support from CCSA Families is a free benefit for schools that are members of the California Charter Schools Association. Parent workshops & trainings as well as annual events such as Advocacy Day in Sacramento and Parent Summit are free to charter parents that have joined CCSA Families and they can do so via a form provided by their school leader or online.

As a Charter Leader, Staff Member, Parent, Family Member, or Charter Supporter join us today as we advocate for quality public school choices, fair treatment and equal resources for charter public schools, and the advancement and growth of successful charter schools. Contact Valieria Koss for more information.

Watch the video to learn more or sign the pledge today to get started!

Start a Charter in San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties

As CCSA's designated School Development and Support representative for the area, Jennifer Reiter-Cook understands the unique charter school landscape you face and can support you with the necessary skills and resources to start a high-quality charter school. Learn more.

Regional Links

For more information about some of the charter authorizers in the Greater San Diego region, check out links to:

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