Over 4,000 Charter School Leaders, Teachers, Supporters and Advocates Celebrate "March to One Million" at 23rd Annual California Charter Schools Conference

March 15, 2016

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Contact: Emily Bertelli

(Long Beach, California) - More than 4,000 charter public school leaders, teachers, supporters, and advocates will gather to inspire academic excellence, operational integrity and unity among charter schools throughout California at the annual four-day event, held March 14-17, 2016 at the Long Beach Convention Center and hosted by the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA). Learn more about the event.

"Even though California's charter schools have grown to serve over 580,000 students in 1,230 charter schools, there is still an overwhelming unmet need for quality school choice options as over 158,000 students linger on charter school waitlists. We have a great responsibility to ensure an ever-growing number of families are able to entrust their child's education to a high performing charter school," said Jed Wallace, president and CEO, CCSA. "This year's conference theme, the March to One Million, speaks to the growth, momentum and opportunity of our charter school movement. At each conference, we unite our shared passions and collective voices to tackle fresh opportunities to grow new and replicate existing charter schools and advocate for improved charter school authorizing policies, facilities equity, and the ongoing freedom to innovate."

This year, nine Hart Vision Awards will be presented to volunteers, schools, teachers, elected officials and community leaders. Ten students graduating from CCSA member charter schools from across the state will also be recognized individually and receive a $2,000 Susan Steelman Bragato Scholarship Award.

Featured Speakers Include:

Tuesday, March 15: Jed Wallace, president and CEO, CCSA will present the keynote address during the opening plenary session program, from 8:00 am-9:30 am in the Long Beach Convention Center Grand Ballroom, 100 South Pine Avenue, Long Beach. Under his leadership, CCSA supports more charter schools than any other state in the nation.

Wednesday, March 16: Dr. Peter Diamandis, founder, chairman and CEO, X PRIZE Foundation, will speak during the morning plenary session program, from 8:00 am-9:30 am in the Long Beach Convention Center Grand Ballroom. Diamandis released his latest book, BOLD, in 2015. The book, co-authored with Steven Kotler, hit the New York Times Best-seller List one week after its release.

"Over the last twenty years, charter schools have acted as a proven disruptive force for good in the public education system. California charter leaders are entrepreneurial thinkers who are scaling groundbreaking and innovative approaches to the way teachers teach and students learn. I am excited to participate in the annual California Charter Schools Conference and to address leaders who are transforming the future for thousands of students in communities across the state."

Thursday, March 17: Soledad O'Brien, award winning journalist, documentarian, news anchor, producer and philanthropist, will moderate a panel discussion on the future growth of charter schools in California. The panel will take place during the closing program from 9:30 am-10:30 am in the Long Beach Convention Center Grand Ballroom.

"The most pressing issues facing many low income communities today are those of race, class, and opportunity. I am very much looking forward to talking with people on both sides of the conversation as to whether charter schools are the right way to help historically disadvantaged students reach their full potential. The annual California Charter Schools Conference is a great opportunity to hear out all sides of the issue and meet people dedicated to getting children a great education by whatever means."

California Charter Schools and Conference by the Numbers:

  • 1,230 California charter public schools
  • 581,100 estimated charter school students in California
  • 158,000 students on waitlists
  • 4,000+ conference attendees
  • 186 conference breakout sessions, 56 expo presentations/posters, 300 exhibiting companies

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About the California Charter Schools Association
The California Charter Schools Association's vision is to increase student learning by growing the number of families choosing high quality charter public schools so that no child is denied the right to a great public education. Our mission is to ensure a million students attend charter public schools by 2022, with charter public schools outperforming non-charter public schools on every measure. We do this by serving as the advocacy organization that builds the policy environment needed to grow as quickly as possible the number of students attending high quality charter public schools. For more information, please visit our website at www.ccsa.org.