This month as #CharterNation heads back to school, we’re shining a light on CCSA’s Local Advocacy Teams, which are made up of advocacy professionals who work on the frontlines with CCSA charter school members within counties and districts to establish, grow, and protect charters.
From building trust and working relationships on boards of education to meeting with state elected officials, CCSA’s Local Advocacy teams ensure charters get the resources and political support they need to succeed and thrive.
In this blog story, we highlight CCSA’s Northern California Local Advocacy Team which supports charter public schools within three large NorCal regions – Bay Area, Central Valley, and North Central California. The needs of charters within this swath of the state are as diverse as the geography itself.
Jaime Colly, Ed.D. is Vice President of Northern California Local Advocacy and leads a team of five advocacy professionals who support member schools in authorization, renewals, growth, funding, equity, facilities, and community advocacy.
Here’s a summary of what this team is collectively excited about this year, key issues they will focus on, as well as some inspirational thoughts from each team member:
What are you most excited about as a Local Advocate in your region?
There is optimism in the air in Northern California and we’re excited to engage with the community! We’re also eager to convene school leaders and facilitate the sharing of best practices, experiences, and collaborative solutions to common challenges schools face in this part of the state.
This school year, the NorCal Local Advocacy Team is focusing on tangible ways to support our members on the ground and with their authorizers. For example, for member schools that do not have a dedicated compliance officer for Williams Act issues, our team will now offer a helping hand and assist these schools. In addition, we’re eager to build relationships with authorizers on a deeper level by coordinating site visits so that they understand the impact of their decisions on the students in Northern California.
Lastly, we’re excited to shed light on the remarkable programs and achievements of member schools – from Fresno to the Bay Area and from Stockton to Chico. There are tremendous opportunities for growth and change within Northern California’s charter school sector, and we’re dedicated to being at the center of that change.
What are the top issues your team will be focused on?
The top issues the NorCal team will be focusing are:
Bringing Value to Member Schools: This year, we will focus on member experiences so that there is a deeper connectedness among our members. We want ALL members to feel included and that their voices are heard and important. To that end, we’re committed to building a network of support for charter school leaders and stakeholders so that we can collaborate, learn from diverse experts, share resources and best practices, and expand learning opportunities.
Renewal Support: Increasing member connections to authorizers is a top priority. We will build working relationships with authorizers while offering clarity around how charters operate, especially charter schools that may be estranged to some board members. To do that, we plan to organize more robust, strategic site visits.
Protecting Charter Public Schools: We are dedicated to anticipating, defending, and defeating legislation and local policies that seek to undermine the work charters do for our kids.
More Member Strategy & Action Meetings: The NorCal Local Advocacy team is gearing up to bring school leaders together more frequently through local and regional convenings. We’re dedicated to fostering a platform where we can learn from one another, strategize for future renewals, and collaboratively cultivate an environment that supports school leaders.
Amplifying Success Stories: Lastly, we are committed to helping charter schools “own their narratives” and increase the visibility of positive stories, effectively countering attacks by charter detractors.
>> Takeaway Message from CCSA's NorCal Local Advocacy Team:
For a bio of Jaime Colly, Ed.D., click here.
>> Learn more about the other local advocates who make up this team:
For a bio of Robert Crayton III, click here.
For a bio of Marco Durazo, click here.
For a bio of Jorge Franco, click here.
For a bio of Jumoke Hinton, click here.
ADVOCACY IN ACTION SERIES: MEET YOUR CCSA LOCAL ADVOCATES
As part of our Advocacy in Action series, we're also highlighting local advocacy teams supporting charter public schools in Greater Los Angeles and Southern California. Click the links below to learn more!
Interested in learning more about charter public schools in California? Head over to CCSA's What is a Charter School? resource page to get all the details!