More than 100 parents attended a recent town hall organized by Great Public Schools Now (GPSN) and featuring LAUSD Board Member Monica Garcia at East Los Angeles College.
Parents from Endeavor Charter School, KIPP, LA Leadership Academy, Oscar de la Hoya Ánimo Charter High School, and Extera Public Schools testified about their concerns regarding facilities issues (including colocation), the lack of high-quality high schools, the failure of magnet schools to prioritize local students, and their opposition to SB 808.
On the topic of colocations, Garcia pushed for schools to work toward common goals. She also challenged parents to fight for more funding from the state.
At the End of the Year Community Acknowledgement event held at Oakland Unity High School recently, parents and students received a big thank you for their work on the Measure G campaign. Revenue from the parcel tax measure is used to retain teachers, keep class sizes small, and offer after school academic programs. Oakland charter schools, however, do not receive any of the $20 million collected from the tax.
At the event, one mother said if politicians don’t look out for the students, parents need to step up and apply pressure to make change and bring about changes themselves.
Kevin Osorio, a student at Envision Academy, shared his story about how he was headed down the wrong path that would have likely put him in jail. Fortunately, he got the support he needed from his charter school and fellow youth organizers. Exposure to different people and seeing that they care and want to help others made him want to do the same. Now, he is involved with CCSA and helping to make change happen. As for his school work, Envision Academy is helping him get his credits done to get on track.
Representing 10 schools, within three school districts, the newly formed Sacramento Charter Families Federation strives to give a face to charter school students and families, with the goal of showcasing the exceptional efforts of charter schools statewide to legislators, city officials, school board members, and the communities they serve. As more schools and families learn about the Federation, there has been a growing interest.
During the first half of the year, parents met with Education Committee members in both the state Senate and Assembly. The focus was to demonstrate the negative impact that SB 808 would have on our schools and to promote the efforts of Assemblymember Blanca Rubio’s bill AB 950.
Members of the Federation also joined many families from all over California to testify before the Senate and Assembly. They attended town hall meetings and informal meetups with local legislators to build relationships that will benefit charter schools and students. Most recently, Lighthouse Charter School in West Sacramento gave Senator Richard Pan a tour of their school.
If you live in the Sacramento region and are interested in attending the next meeting, please contact CCSA Parent Organizers for the Capital Region, Tracy Ikemire at firstname.lastname@example.org or Adolfo Mercado at email@example.com.
A group of fourth grade Golden Valley Orchard School advocates is feeling confident after speaking to San Juan School Board members during a packed school board meeting recently. After hearing other students give reports on how their schools were doing, this group of charter school students decided to do the same and began strategizing on how to build a relationship with board members.
The students wrote their own scripts and delivered handmade notes to the superintendent and school board members inviting them to their festive May Day celebration. This resulted in San Juan School Board President Michael McKibbin visiting the school and demonstrating to the students the power of their activism.
At a recent town hall meeting attended by 200 enthusiastic parents, funding inequities in Southeast Los Angeles schools and recent changes to immigration policies were the biggest topics of discussion.
Great Public Schools Now (GPSN) Director Myrna Castrejón gave a presentation and laid out evidence of school funding inequities in southeast LA public schools, both traditional and charter. The non-profit is dedicated to ensuring all students in LA receive a high-quality education by accelerating the growth of high-quality public schools. About 15 parents gave personal testimony of how their children are suffering under the current system.
LAUSD Board Member Ref Rodriguez responded by asking parents to act and fight back against the state legislature and LAUSD’s implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). He promised to meet with families again in June.
SB 808, a destructive bill nicknamed “charter killer” that would limit approval of charter schools, was riling parents up and down around the state. In Sacramento, 85 parents spent two days lobbying against the bill, introduced by Sen. Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia.Parents eager to speak out against it lined up during the Senate Education Committee hearings at the Capital to offer their testimony. They told heartfelt stories of how their children’s lives were being transformed by their charter school. In LA, more than two dozen parents met with Mendoza and made an impassioned plea to demand that he drop the bill.
Finally, after weeks from parents badgering Mendoza, the senator decided to not immediately pursue SB 808 and it was not put up for a vote during the education hearing.