Why Charter Parents MUST Speak Out

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March 20, 2012 As a parent and supporter within the charter school movement, we are constantly reacting to legislative attacks targeting charter schools. All these attacks become even more personal to me last week after attending a Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) board meeting. My child's school, Watts Learning Center, is one of the highest-performing charter schools in the state of California. This is a school with a proven track record of providing children in my South Los Angeles a great education. It is a school that demonstrates that African Americans and Latino children can learn. It's simply a school that we the people and community believe in.

This school was recently up for renewal with LAUSD and it would only make sense that if this school is providing a high-quality education for all children, it should get renewed immediately. Unfortunately, this was not the case for our high-performing school.

Instead, school board member Bennett Kayser announced that he planned to vote against all charter school items, including renewals. He set out to convince his colleagues on the board to vote "No" on this school that means so much to its community. We in the charter school and the greater community heard his message loud and clear: "No matter how great you might be in serving black and brown children, politics and money take precedence over your children's education."

This is the exact reason why families must continue to make their voices heard especially to those that aren't familiar with or don't care about charter schools. This is the reasons why families must continue to defend the rights of our children to receive a great, high-quality education.

Fortunately, the academic success of my children's school and the support of the community convinced the school board to approve our school for renewal with a 6-1 vote. Lesson learned: Don't wait until adversity knocks on your door, get engaged and inspired to defend the children of the charter school movement! Sign up today at www.familiesthatcan.org. Your voices are needed in this movement!

Has your school signed on to partner with Families That Can? Families That Can is part of CCSA, educating, empowering and mobilizing charter school families from across the state. Find out more about how Families That Can can help engage your parents to support your school! Also be sure to sign up to receive the free monthly e-newsletter, action alerts and invites to parent trainings in your area!