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Huntington Park parents

Huntington Park charter parents flex their political power

In February, Jessica Sianez, the parent engagement specialist for the Alliance M. Margaret Bloomfield High School and a parent of student at Alliance Collins Family College Ready High School -- both in Huntington Park in South Los Angeles -- connected with Los Angeles-based CCSA Parent Organizers Javier Orduño and Frank Navarro in an effort to become more involved in local and state issues affecting those schools.

Since then, Javier and Frank have been meeting and working with Jessica and charter parents at Alliance Bloomfield to advocate for their children's education. In April, Jessica and a delegation of charter parents from Alliance Bloomfield traveled to Sacramento to meet with legislators and voice their opposition to SB808, a bill introduced by State Senator Tony Mendoza (D - Artesia) that would negatively impact their school and community. They also attended a Los Angeles Unified school board meeting in to oppose a resolution supporting SB808. Finally, the group met directly with Senator Mendoza’s office to express their opposition to SB808 and convinced him to table the bill.

The Alliance Bloomfield parents also met with Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and asked him to allocate funds under SB740, which reimburses up to 75% of a school’s costs for leasing buildings. As a result of their efforts, the state allocated SB740 funds in its annual budget and the state contribution increased from $750 per pupil to $1244.

Said Jessica: “Collaborating with Mr. Orduño and Mr. Navarro from CCSA has taught me a lot that I wasn’t aware of as a parent and educator. The parents at Alliance Bloomfield are better informed and want to get more involved now that now that they know about CCSA. They feel empowered to help their children in their education.”

Get involved with charter issues in your area! 

Two new project-based learning charters opening in Northern & Southern CA this fall

CCSA and CCSA Advocates congratulate two new project-based charter schools on their openings this fall: Growth Public Schools (GPS) in Sacramento and the School of Universal Learning (SOUL) in San Diego.

GPS is an innovative K-8 public charter school that uses real-world project curriculum, innovative personalized learning, a focus on social emotional learning, and a commitment to diversity to prepare students for future success. GPS is located near the La Riviera, Rosemont, Tahoe Park and Rancho Cordova communities and is currently enrolling kindergarten and first grade.

SOUL Charter School will open its doors next week in Solana Beach. The school will serve students in grades 7 and 9, with a goal to eventually become a grade 7-12 school. SOUL will provide experience- and project-based learning to students, with required elections including entrepreneurship and essential life skills. 

Learn more about the GPS and SOUL charter school openings.


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National Voter Registration Day is coming up! 

CCSA Advocates is excited to once again be part of a national effort to strengthen our community by registering hundreds of voters on September 26, 2017, also known as National Voter Registration Day.

First started for the 2012 presidential election, National Voter Registration Day has become a 50-state holiday when thousands of organizations and volunteers organize to ensure our family, friends, and neighbors are registered to vote.

Why register in 2017, you may ask? Our answer: States, cities, counties and towns have big elections this fall. Primaries for next year’s state and national elections are months away. As a nonpartisan coalition of organizations, National Voter Registration Day is the perfect opportunity to get involved no matter what party you support or which issues matter most to you.

Learn more about NVRD and please use the hashtag #NationalVoterRegistrationDay on social media to spread the word!


THE 4-1-1: A Snapshot of California’s Educational & Political News

Downtown Charter School Lacks Space for Three Grades (Los Angeles Downtown News)
In just over two weeks, classes are scheduled to begin at Metro Charter Elementary, the school formed in 2013 by Downtown Los Angeles parents. Despite the looming deadline and some furious effort, school officials have yet to secure a location for roughly half of the students. At this point, it remains unclear where the youngest students will take classes. School officials are working to complete a deal as soon as possible and are currently in negotiations for a site near Exposition Park.

Charter school targeting homeless children opens in South LA (KPCC)
A new charter school aimed at specifically serving homeless and low-income children in South Los Angeles opened its doors Monday. The Crete Academy, on a short commercial strip of Crenshaw Blvd., welcomed 130 elementary school students on its first day, with potential space for 12 more enrollments. At the moment, Hattie Mitchell, the school's founder and CEO, estimated about 10 percent of students in the school are homeless. The majority of students are in low-income families. 

In report to Vacaville school district trustees, Kairos leader extols charter school’s positives (The Report)
Kairos Public School Vacaville Academy, an independent charter school aligned with Vacaville Unified, has grown by nearly 100 students since its founding three years ago, has some of the highest standardized test scores in Solano County, and will remain on a firm fiscal footing this year and the next two. Those are among the facts Jared Austin, co-founder and executive director of the Elm Street campus, offered the Vacaville Unified governing board during his annual update presentation Thursday in the Educational Services Center.

District Admits Pushing Struggling Students Toward Charters (Voice of San Diego)
Students who began as part of San Diego Unified’s class of 2016 but who left district high schools and transferred to a charter school had a combined grade point average of 1.75 at the time they transferred, district records released through a Public Records Act request show. That bolsters the case that charter schools acted as an escape hatch for San Diego Unified students, taking in some of the school district’s lowest-performing high school students and helping the district land a 91 percent graduation rate in 2016 – the highest on record.

Gonez introduces ambitious resolution to ensure LAUSD students succeed in college and careers (LA School Report)
New school board member Kelly Gonez is introducing an ambitious resolution that calls for making detailed data available to the public to ensure students are supported and able to complete college and “access a rewarding career.” With this resolution, called “Creating Pathways to Lifelong Success for Our Students,” Gonez is fulfilling a key campaign promise to help get every LA Unified student ready for higher education or the job force. Gonez said she hopes the information will be helpful to both parents and educators. “I would also have loved to have had this information as a teacher too,” Gonez said Thursday after spending the first week of school visiting her schools in District 6 in the northeast San Fernando Valley.

Assembly Republicans choose a new leader (Sacramento Bee)
California Assembly Republicans on Thursday selected a new leader, days after a failed voteto overthrow the head of its caucus resulted in a compromise for an election to be held next week. Assemblyman Brian Dahle, R-Nubieber, will take over as leader of the 25-member caucus at the end of the legislative session in September. He succeeds Chad Mayes, of Yucca Valley, who generated conservative outrage and an activist campaign to oust him when he negotiated a deal last month to renew California’s signature climate change program.

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