Capitol Update 8/7/14

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August 7, 2014

The Legislature reconvened from summer recess on Monday and there will be a flurry of activity over the next month as the Assembly and Senate race to complete their business before the official end of the legislative session on August 31. There are three critical pieces of legislation still pending for CCSA, and your action is requested.

Action Alert:  Oppose Senate Bill 1263 (Pavley)

Stand up for California's charter schools and make your voice heard today!

Senate Bill 1263 (Pavley) will be heard on the Assembly Floor at any time during the next couple of weeks and we need your help stopping this legislation.  As amended on July 2, 2014, SB 1263 creates new and burdensome facilities barriers for charter schools by restricting the time and circumstances under which charter schools may locate outside of their district.  In addition, SB 1263 imposes new notification requirements for charter schools.
 
Current law, which allows schools to have facilities outside their district, has provided a valuable backstop for charter schools with difficult or unique facilities challenges within their district of authorization. SB 1263 removes critical flexibility that charter schools currently utilize to overcome facilities challenges.
 
SB 1263 is a harmful approach to tackling authorizing issues. We urge you to take action now and contact your Assemblymember to express your opposition to SB 1263 to ensure this bill does not move forward.

TAKE ACTION TODAY!

If you have some extra time today, please fill out our previous Action Alerts on AB 948 (Olsen) related to charter school facilities, and on AB 913 (Chau) related to conflict of interest. Votes on these important bills will be happening within the next 3 weeks. You can read more about each of them on their respective Action Alert pages.

Funding Opportunities at CDE:  PCSGP and Mandate Grant Available

Public Charter Schools Grant Program Planning and Implementation Grant

The California Department of Education (CDE) has released the Fall 2014 Request for Applications for the Public Charter Schools Grant Program (PCGSP). Over $60 million is available for startup and implementation grants for new charter schools. Applications are due September 16, 2014.  Charters must be SUBMITTED for approval to eligible for a grant.  Details are on the CDE PCSGP website.

Save the Date PCSGP Workshops and webinars

The CDE is holding a series of workshops and webinars to provide technical assistance for the Public Charter Schools Grant Program (PCSGP) 2014–15 fiscal year Request for Applications (RFA) due to the CDE on September 16, 2014. Charter school developers, current PCSGP sub-grantees, and charter school operators are encouraged to attend the workshops and webinars. Workshop Registration and details can be found here. Webinars will be held on Friday, August 8 (Register Here) and Friday, August 15, 2014 (Register Here). 

PCSGP Peer Reviewers Needed

The California Department of Education (CDE) Charter Schools Division (CSD) is seeking peer reviewers to score PCSGP grants this fall. A three-day peer review session will be held in Sacramento October 7–9, 2014. You can find the application for peer reviews here. If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact the Charter Schools Division by phone at 916-322-6029, or by e-mail at PCSGP-APPS@cde.ca.gov.

CDE Mandate Block Grant

Each year, charter schools must elect to receive mandate block grant by submitting a Mandate Block Grant Application. This grant provides funds in-lieu of mandate reimbursement claims. Charter schools receive $14 per ADA for students in grades K through 8, and $42 per ADA for students in grades 9 through 12. Go here to submit an application which is DUE BY SEPTEMBER 2.