California's Charter Schools Fight for Most Vulnerable Students, Thank Governor Jerry Brown for Putting Kids First

September 19, 2018

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Media Contact:
Brittany Parmley

California's Charter Schools Fight for Most Vulnerable Students, Thank Governor Jerry Brown for Putting Kids First

SACRAMENTO, CA - Continuing their commitment to protecting California's most vulnerable students, the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) applauded Governor Jerry Brown for signing Assembly Bill (AB) 1871, which will ensure that all of California's charter schools provide free and reduced-price lunch to eligible students. This critical legislation was signed yesterday, after a compromise between the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) and Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) was reached in May.

"California's charter schools have always operated with one goal in mind: Putting kids first," said Carlos Marquez, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, CCSA. "Without a doubt, our state's most vulnerable students need access to school meals and we look forward to partnering with local districts to make this happen. We thank Governor Jerry Brown and Assemblyman Rob Bonta for passing this critical piece of legislation."

California's charter schools have long recognized the critical link between nutrition and learning, illustrated by the fact that the vast majority already provide meals to eligible students. Less than 5 percent of charters schools across the state have faced unique challenges in providing school meals including lack of access to quality facilities, food service vendors, or the technical expertise required to navigate complicated local and federal food service requirements.

Under this new law, classroom-based charter school programs will provide at least one meal a day to free or reduced-price meal eligible students. Charter schools who are not already providing these meals will coordinate with local districts to properly implement these meal programs and provide technical assistance to ensure the program's success.

This is the second successful common-sense compromise that CCSA has reached with Assemblymember Bonta this legislative session. In 2017, the Governor signed AB 1360, which gives all students fair and equitable access to all public schools across the state, while also enhancing due process rights for students facing dismissal.

With Governor Brown's signature, AB 1871 will go in effect on July 1, 2019.

About California's Charter Schools

California's charter schools are public schools built to put the needs of students first. Public, free, and open to all, charter schools are a growing and valuable part of our public education. They offer a different approach --one that is as unique as the kids they serve, one that puts kids above bureaucracy, and one that gives passionate teachers the flexibility to create dynamic lesson plans tailored to kids' individual needs. As a result, charter schools send more kids to college and are preparing more kids for the jobs of tomorrow. Learn more here.