Capitol Update 8/29/14

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August 29, 2014

If you didn’t see our Action Alerts from yesterday, two anti-charter bills: AB 913 (Chau) related to conflict of interest and SB 1263 (Pavley) related to charter school locations were approved by the Legislature and are headed to the Governor’s desk for consideration. We need your help in urging Governor Brown to veto AB 913 and SB 1263. Click these links to send your veto letters today! We have gotten a great response so far we have collected over 400 letters to send to the Governor. Thank you and let's keep the letters coming!

AB 948 (Olsen) Charter School Facilities Grant Program

On Friday, August 22, AB 948 completed its final step in the legislative process when the Assembly concurred in the Senate amendments on the Assembly Floor 76-0. This is a huge victory for charter schools. AB 948 makes modifications to the SB 740 Charter School Facilities Grant program and would allow schools with a 60% Free and Reduce Priced Lunch population or higher to be eligible to apply for this program.

Thank you for all your efforts in supporting this legislation! More to come on our final steps for the bill.

CCSA Issues Report Showing Charters Making Significant Academic Gains

On Tuesday, August 26, the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) released its fourth annual Portrait of the Movement: Five Year Retrospective - A Charter Sector Growing in Numbers and Strength, a report that highlights trends indicating that tens of thousands of students are being educated in better performing charter schools than just five years ago.

The Portrait of the Movement report tells the story of the large and diverse California charter schools movement now serving a half million public school students and growing every year while making significant improvements in academic performance. That performance has been driven by quality growth, strengthening results across many segments of the movement and the closure of underperforming schools.  If such pronounced academic strengthening can occur in a sector as big as California’s, during a time of growth as explosive as California’s, and during a period of funding crisis as severe as California’s, then similar academic strengthening can happen just about anywhere.

View the 4th Annual Portrait of the Movement
Read the Portrait of the Movement 2014 Fact Sheet

Broadband Infrastructure Improvement Grant

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced this week the availability of broadband infrastructure improvement grant funds to help school districts and direct-funded charter schools with the most severe infrastructure deficits. First priority grants will go to LEAs that currently are unable to administer computer-based assessments on site. For more information, please visit the K–12 High Speed Network Broadband Infrastructure Improvement Grant web page.

Webinar on Proposition 39 Energy Efficiency Grants

On Tuesday, September 16, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., the California Energy Commission will be holding a webinar for charter schools on the Proposition 39 Program and Energy Expenditure Plan application process. Please click here for details on what will be covered and how to participate.

Free Red Ribbon Week Materials Available for Schools

CCSA was contacted this week by Assembly Member Gomez’s (D-Los Angeles) office letting us know about the availability of free materials such as certificates, bookmarks and posters for Red Ribbon Week.  Assembly Concurrent Resolution 75 proclaims October 23-31 as Red Ribbon Week and encourages all Californians to help build drug-free communities and participate in drug prevention activities. If you are interested in these materials, contact your Assemblymember no later than Friday, September 5 to place your order.