CCSA Applauds Federal Government Extension of Charter Schools Program and Selection of California as Race to the Top Finalist

July 27, 2010

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For Immediate Release
July 27, 2010

Contact: Vicky Waters, CCSA
(415) 505-7575

SACRAMENTO, California (July 27, 2010).--The California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) applauded two separate announcements today by the Obama Administration that directly impact California public schools, including charter schools.

The first was the approval of the federal Charter Schools Program grant, which is a competitive grant that provides financial assistance to new charter schools--including start-up costs, implementation, and dissemination of information to the community on charter schools.

"CCSA has been working very diligently with the California Department of Education to extend this program, in order to bring more public education options to kids and parents throughout California," said Jed Wallace, President and CEO of the CCSA.

California could receive up to $300 million from the U.S. Department of Education, and extend the grant from the current three years to five years.

Once the amount of the grant is announced, the CDE will be responsible for disbursing the funds to applying charter schools. However, the budget stalemate may present challenges, as no money can be awarded without a state budget in place.

"In these difficult economic times, our charter schools need the assurance that they will be able to count on these funds to open their schools. Many may not be able to open their schools as planned because of this delay, and that will impact students, parents, and teachers," said Wallace.

CCSA urges the Legislature and the Governor to approve a fair and balanced budget upon their return to the Capitol next week.

California has received grant funding from the Charter School Program since its inception in 1994. The grants are awarded on a per-school basis. In 2007-08 alone, the state made one-time planning and implementation grants of between $250,000 and $600,000 to 65 charter schools.

In fiscal year 2009, the federal government allocated $216 million in charter school grant funding.

Race to the Top

The Obama Administration announced today that California was one of 18 states to be selected as finalists in Race to the Top Phase 2, which could result in $700 million for the state from the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"Reforming and transforming education is a goal of public charter schools since their inception, and we're excited the state has been selected to move one step closer to bringing much needed funds and bold changes to achieve better educational opportunities to our neediest communities," said Wallace. "Charter schools could offer alternatives to traditional public schools, and the federal government is encouraging states to explore all options for improving education."

CCSA participated in making the application for Phase Two more robust, and 200 charters signed on in support of the application

About the California Charter Schools Association

The California Charter Schools Association is the membership and professional organization serving 809 charter public schools that educate more than 341,000 charter school students in the state of California. The mission of the California Charter Schools Association is to lead the charter public school movement in California in order to increase the number of students attending high-quality charter schools.

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