Local Schools Meeting with Legislators

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June 24, 2011 Last week, representatives from Leonardo da Vinci Health Sciences, Darnall and Arroyo Paseo went with me (Regional Director Lisa Berlanga) to a meeting at Senator Vargas's office to discuss legislation that is relevant to charter schools. Senator Vargas was unavailable to meet with us in person, so we met with his education staff person, Dianna Zamora. We spoke with her about the budget situation and how charter schools receive less funding overall and have less access to borrowing than districts. We asked that the Senator keep that in mind when voting on the budget. We also let her know about the attempts to curtail charter growth and asked that they do not support AB 401, which would put a hard cap on charters in the state. We also talked about AB 925, which would severely limit a charter school's ability to make decisions regarding employee/employer relationships. Even more importantly, the charter representatives with me were able to tell their stories about the charter schools and how the budget has affected them and how these bills would have a negative impact as well.

In the fall, we hope to get Senator Vargas out to some charter schools and get some charter parents out to talk with him at his office about how charter schools meet their children's needs. Our website has up to date information on the legislative bills and where they are in the process. We also have a great toolkit that will give you some good ideas on how to engage your local legislators.