Educating the Public about School Choice is a Public Service

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June 8, 2012 I can't tell you how many times I've been asked by a parent of what charter school options they have in their community. Unfortunately they are usually frustrated for one reason or another with their existing school and are at their wits' end of what to do next. Often, they had no idea they even had an option to seek out another school choice until someone told them to go talk to that crazy charter school guy. They'll tell me what they are looking & hoping for and again, unfortunately in so many communities there isn't a good charter school option to recommend. Seeing their frustration, and how emotional it is for them because we are talking about their children after all, I might recommend they connect with their district transfer office and seek out another school in the district and hope for an opening. I'll never pass up the opportunity to tell them if they organize the right kind of people with the right qualification & passion and aren't afraid of hard work, they can develop a new school. That is why new high quality school development continues to be a high priority for the Association.

We still have a long way to go on educating the public of what charters schools are all about, who they serve, that they are public schools and the absolute need for more education choices for families and students. James Bushman from University High School in the Fresno area put it best at a recent regional meeting, educating the community of the school choices in their area is a public service. I commend those individual charter leaders that recognize that they have a role to play in the promotion of overall increased school choices & responsibility in playing a critical role as part of the charter school movement.

John Madrid
Regional Director, Central Valley