You’re Invited to Bay Area Parent Summit

Join charter school parents and leaders at the CCSA Families Summit in Oakland on February 4. Participants from across the region will learn about issues facing our charter schools and build collective power across the Bay Area.

There will be opportunities to build relationships with other members of the charter community in the Bay Area, attend trainings on how you can best advocate for charter education, and create a plan for a region-wide community action in March. The Summit is being organized in collaboration with parent and youth organizers.

To register, click here.

Charter Graduates Give Back and Get Involved

Many charter school graduates go on to do great things. A group of more than a dozen charter alumni have chosen to give back in a powerful way: by inviting current charter high school students to become advocates for the charter movement.

The new program organized with help from CCSA Families creates opportunities for charter alumni to identify key policy issues facing charter schools and then work to engage charter students on those issues. The top issues identified by charter alumni so far include ensuring access to equitable facilities, sharing best practices, and startup funding. The program is underway in Southern California and the Bay Area.

For more information, contact Alan Ratliff: aratliff@ccsa.org

Charter Parents Share Immigration Stories

At times, the parent book club meeting at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy‘s Burlington campus in Los Angeles felt like a group therapy session.

That’s because the book – a nonfiction story about 19 Mexican immigrants who died while trying to cross the border in Texas 14 years ago – hit close to home. Many of the charter school’s book club parents are undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Central America.

In Spanish, one mother recounted her border crossing from Mexico. She said that when nearing the San Diego freeway, the eight members of her group – her mother and sisters – resembled a duck and her ducklings. With tears streaming down her face, she expressed gratitude for having safely reached her new home with her family. Another mother recalled certain details: getting only one bottle of water per day, a treacherous desert passage with little food, traveling by night.

“We didn’t come here because we wanted to,” she told fellow book club members in Spanish. “We came here because we needed to. We come for the American Dream but sometimes what we pay for it is very costly.”

“This story is so connected to our families,” said Susana Interiano, the school’s student and family services coordinator who facilitates the book club.

Besides sharing some difficult stories from their past, the moms expressed their love for the United States and their pride that their children are receiving a high quality education.

The California Charter Schools Association has signed Stand for Children’s letter urging continued federal support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects undocumented students. CCSA will continue to advocate for the tens of thousands of immigrant families in our charter school community.