Parents and Charter School Leaders Will Make Their Voices Heard at the State Capitol During National Charter Schools Week

May 8, 2013

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SACRAMENTO, California - "More than 150 school leaders and parents attending the California Charter Schools Association's (CCSA) 20th Anniversary Advocacy Day will meet with elected officials to discuss the impact charters are having on students and how policy will impact future charter success," announced Jed Wallace, President and Chief Executive Officer of CCSA. "California is home to one in seven of the nation's charter schools, but we know the continued success of the movement requires policies enabling existing schools to thrive, new schools to begin and for successful schools to replicate."

Advocacy Day is a time when parents can let their legislators know how important school choice is for their family. Joanne Ahola, a mother of four who will attend Advocacy Day for the first time, shared why she is attending. "Before my oldest child was ready to start school, I began exploring alternative education programs and discovered Golden Valley Charter School of Sacramento," said Ahola.

"Immediately I recognized that it was a beautiful environment for my child and my family so we enrolled my son in kindergarten. He's now in seventh grade and my daughter who is in third grade, also attends there. Learning more about charter schools, I discovered how important it is to advocate for policy that doesn't thwart charters and could help improve access to facilities. I am excited about Advocacy Day and the opportunity to talk with my legislator - to share why the charter school is important for my children and why I chose an alternate education approach."

"Participation in Advocacy Day by parents and charter school leaders also represents the culmination of a year-long celebration of charter schools in California and is a fitting way to honor National Charter Schools Week, held May 5-11, 2013," continued Wallace.

The oldest charter schools are just 20-years-old and charter growth has been especially strong in recent years. Advocacy Day provides an opportunity to familiarize legislators with charter schools as well as advocate for funding equity, expand facilities access, and to oppose bills which would reduce charter school autonomy and flexibility.

The Charter School Act passed in 1992; the first California charter school opened in fall of 1994; and now California boasts 1,063 schools that serve 484,000 students. At the beginning of the 2012-13 school year, an estimated 70,000 students were on wait lists for charter schools. "Parents are clamoring for schools of choice, and on Advocacy Day lawmakers can hear this directly from charter school parents and leaders," said Wallace.

Charter Schools are a vibrant part of California's public education culture, earning awards for academic achievement, serving all students including those who are impoverished or English language learners, and devising innovative support for students needing special education services.

Recent awards include:

About the California Charter Schools Association
The California Charter Schools Association is the membership and professional organization serving 1,063 charter public schools and more than 484,000 students in the state of California. The Vision of the California Charter Schools Association is to empower parents and educators to unleash a new era of innovation within public education so that highly autonomous and accountable schools of choice provide quality learning opportunities for all California students. For more information, please visit

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