Capitol Update 2/5/15

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February 6, 2015

It’s been a busy week for charter schools in Sacramento. Last Friday, we held our first ever charter school bus tour for legislative and administrative staff and visited Fortune School, Language Academy of Sacramento and Sacramento Charter High School. On Monday, we had our annual Back to Session reception with more than100 people in attendance, and on Wednesday, CCSA attorneys gave oral arguments before the California Supreme Court in California Charter Schools Association v. Los Angeles Unified School District case. Next week, the Advisory Commission on Charter Schools will be meeting to hear two charter school appeals.

CCSA Hosts “Back to Session” Event at the Capitol

This year, CCSA Board Members attended 17 meetings with the Governor’s Office, Treasurer’s office, Department of Finance and legislators during our annual Back to Session event. The day concluded with an evening reception where CCSA’s Board of Directors, Member Council, Political Council, Government Affairs team and CCSA staff welcomed legislators and their staff “back to session.” More than 60 legislative offices were represented with 30 elected officials in attendance. CCSA would like to thank everyone that attended and helped us kick off the session!

Legislative Bus Tour

Last Friday, CCSA’s Government Affairs team welcomed twelve high level legislative and regulatory staff and representatives of Governor Brown’s administration on a bus tour that visited three high performing charter schools in Sacramento. Throughout the tour, the guests personally experienced a variety of triumphs and struggles charter schools see every day.

The tour stopped at three charter schools in Sacramento; Language Academy of Sacramento, Fortune School and Sacramento Charter High School. We had guests from our Governor’s Office, State Board of Education, the California Department of Education Public Schools Division, Office of Public School Construction, Legislative Analyst’s Office, Assembly Education Committee, Senate Education Committee, and our charter schools.

After touring the schools and interacting with students, the visit wrapped up with a lunch at Sacramento High with charter leaders from the tour, Gateway Community Charter, and newly elected Yolo County Board of Education member and charter founder Matt Taylor. CCSA would like to extend a special thank you to the schools and leaders for making this event such a great success.

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CDE Revisits Eligibility for PCSGP Applicants

This week, the California Department of Education essentially reversed a memo it had sent out on October 14, 2014, that would have required all applicants for the Public Charter School Grant Program (start-up and implementation grants) to have an approved charter term prior to July 1, 2015. CDE notified applicants that this reversal was based on additional guidance from the federal Department of Education that had been requested by CCSA. The letter specifies that “the start date of your charter petition is not required to begin prior to July 1, 2015, for PCSGP eligibility”.  However, the letter further notes that all of the requirements of the 2014‒15 PCSGP RFA still apply, including the approval of a charter petition by May 7, 2015. If you have any questions, please contact Charlene Schmid, Education Programs Consultant, Charter Schools Division, CDE, by phone at 916-323-0482 or by e-mail at cschmid@cde.ca.gov.

Finance Academy Coming Soon!

Back by popular demand, the California Charter Schools Association is again offering our one-day Finance Academy in partnership with FCMAT. This in-person workshop, offered in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Diego, will assist charter schools and developers in all phases and areas of financial management. Sign up today!

Learn at Conference, Lead at Advocacy Day

Conference: March 16-19, 2015 hundreds of charter leaders, teachers and supporters will come together in Sacramento, CA to share their voices, learn from each other, celebrate successes and build momentum for the charter movement. CCSA is proud to offer registration specials that include discounts for CCSA member schools and groups of 3+ or 10+. Register now with a purchase order and you won't pay until March 2015. Don't miss out on the dynamic 2015 CCSA Conference Programming. We look forward to hosting you in Sacramento.

Annual Charter School Day at the Capitol: CCSA will celebrate National Charter Schools Week by hosting our Annual Advocacy Day in Sacramento on Tuesday May 5, 2015. Registration is open! CCSA will schedule a meeting with your legislators based on your school’s physical address. School leaders, board members, teachers and parents are encouraged to participate. The event includes onsite training, lunch and an exciting program. This event is a benefit of CCSA membership and is complimentary to individuals from member schools. Register HERE today and watch last year’s video to learn more about the event and why your participation is critical. Questions? Email governmentaffairs@ccsa.org.