SACRAMENTO, California.–Some 1,500 parents, students, leaders and supporters from charter schools across California rallied on Wednesday afternoon at the State Capitol steps to demand better funding for the state’s 982 charter schools. They were joined in support by president and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) Jed Wallace, founder and CEO of the PUC Schools in Los Angeles Dr. Jacqueline Elliot, and Margaret Fortune, founder of the Fortune School of Education, among others.
The rally was part of the 19th Annual Charter Schools Conference, being held this week at the Sacramento Convention Center.
Carrying signs that read “Equal Funding for All Public School Students” and “Fair Funding for Charter Schools,” the crowd called for equity and fairness to all public schools, including charters.
“We need to bring more money to California schools, and fix our budget,” said Governor Jerry Brown during the rally. “Let’s show people we can come together as Californians.”
“It is extremely gratifying to see so many people here in Sacramento, fighting for their voices to be heard,” said Wallace. “Charter schools should be funded at the same level as traditional public schools. Yet, despite these challenges, we continue to push through, with over 300 new charters opening in California in the last three years,” said Wallace.
The Legislative Analyst Office (LAO) released a report in January 2012, which showed charter schools are underfunded in California by as much as $1,068 per student in some charter schools.
“We are here because charter school students are public school students, and they deserve the same funding as other public school students. California law says charter public schools should get equal funding to a similar district public school, but they don’t,” said Elliot.
This year’s Conference theme is “You are the Charter School Movement.”
About the California Charter Schools Association
The California Charter Schools Association is the membership and professional organization serving 982 charter public schools and more than 412,000 students in the state of California. The Vision of the California Charter Schools Association is to usher in a new era in public education so all students attend independent, innovative, accountable schools of choice. The Mission of the California Charter Schools Association is to influence the legislative and policy environments, leverage collective advocacy, and provide resources to support our members in developing and operating high quality, charter schools reflective of California’s student population. For more information, please visit www.calcharters.org.
Read more about CCSA.