TABLE OF CONTENTS
26 THE MISSION 04
Letter from ED
28 OUR BOARD
Making Progress in the Legislature
Electing Local Leaders
Cultivating Statewide Support
Achieving Equitable Funding
30 GETTING INVOLVED
LETTE R F ROM E D
Members, Supporters, and Friends,
It’s a wonderful moment to be a charter school supporter in California. In the last few years, we have seen significant progress on charter school advocacy priorities: $20 million in new state-approved start-up funding to fuel charter school growth Local ballot measures that are including charter school students at unprecedented rates, providing over half a billion dollars to charter schools for facilities and operating costs The passage of the Local Control Funding Formula, bringing charter school funding to an equitable level with other public schools A governor and legislature who are routinely stopping bad charter legislation, protecting the flexibility and autonomy that are so important to our charter schools And, dozens of wins at the local level, including 125 new schools opening in the last two years and over 45% of charter schools accessing school district facilities Charter-friendly legislators and local elected officials are making these gains possible. We know that this momentum will only continue. In 2015-16, we have just helped elect 20 legislators and 66 school board members who are procharter. These elected officials join the growing ranks of policy makers across California who see charter schools as part of the pathway forward to improve public schools for all of California’s youth. Together with all of you, these elected officials will build a better future for California students and families. I have been especially inspired by our charter school community members jumping into politics. Take Barbara Hale—a charter school founder, teacher, and principal— who was recently elected to the Riverside County Board
of Education. Barbara’s experience running an exceptional charter school will not only serve the charter schools of Riverside County well, but her expertise will make her a true champion for kids countywide. We are increasingly seeing leaders like Barbara run for office locally, and win, as charter school supporters. We have a candidate training program designed to help charter community members prepare for and run for local office. So, who’s next? Looking forward to 2017, 2018, and beyond, we have big things on the horizon. In 2018, California will elect a new Governor and State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and we must continue to make progress in the state legislature and on local boards. There is much work to be done to continue to build a political climate that embraces the promise that charter schools bring. We need the help of all of you—and your school communities—to organize and engage to ensure we continue to have charter-friendly elected officials in these and other critical public offices. I ask all of you to get involved. Thank you for everything you’ve done these past two years to help us grow California’s political support for charter schools. Thanks to all of you who worked for a candidate, wrote letters to your legislator, spoke at a public hearing, or opened up your school to help a politician see the virtues that charter schools bring. You are helping to deeply embed charter school roots in the fabric of California’s political landscape, which will bear fruit for our kids for years to come. Together, we are changing the state of California’s public education system, one voice, one vote, at a time.
Gary Borden Executive Director 5
The Vision: Increasing student learning by growing the number of families choosing high-quality charter schools so that no child is denied the right to a great public education.
TH E M OD EL
The Mission: A million students attending charter public schools by 2022, with charter public schools outperforming noncharter public schools on every measure.
CCSA Advocates Role: Serving as the advocacy organization that builds the political environment needed to grow as quickly as possible the number of students attending high-quality charter public schools.
The Model: 5
Our aim is to ensure that all children have access to a highquality public education.
We think that the best way to guarantee that all students have access to a high-quality public education is by ensuring that students and families have choices when it comes to picking a public school.
We ensure that students and families have choices by creating healthy local authorizing and state policy environments which put studentsâ€™ needs first.
We ensure healthy political climates in California by electing bold, student-focused candidates to serve in offices across the state.
We help to elect candidates by mobilizing our charter community of school leaders, parents, and alumni to get actively involved on our campaigns.
M AKI NG PR OGRE S S I N TH E LEG IS LATU R E
We are making Sacramento an increasingly charterfriendly place
Our work in Sacramento began with the bold vision to make Sacramento an overwhelmingly charter-friendly place by the year 2020. Since 2012, our electoral work has been primarily focused on the state legislature, creating a favorable environment for charter schools in the state’s primary policy-making body. This work has included a steady effort over the last three election cycles. And we believe we’ve made major strides. In our most recent election cycle, 2015-2016, we saw real success. We won 85% of the legislative contests we engaged in, helping to elect 17 charter-friendly members to seats in the legislature. These efforts built on earlier wins in 2012 and 2014 to make the legislature into an increasingly friendly place for charter schools. As the legislature has become more hospitable to charter schools, this has translated into tangible successes
during this same period of time. Some key policy wins for charter schools include: $20 million in funding for the startup of new charter schools $20 million in new, ongoing funding for charter school facilities through the SB 740 program The successful defeat of all legislation that would be harmful to charter schools Looking forward, we continue our quest to make Sacramento into an increasingly friendly place for charter schools. We will continue our efforts on the state legislature and increasingly engage the other statewide offices and agencies that have tangible impact on charter schools’ success.
CHARTER SUPPORT IN THE LEGISLATURE
2 01 2
2 01 6
2 01 2
NUMBER OF PERSONS SUPPORTING
“When the new Legislature is sworn in next month, its Democratic majority will contain more members than ever who owe their elections at least in part to support from charter schools”
- Sacramento Bee Nov. ’16
ELECTI N G LOC A L LEA D ERS
We are removing barriers to charter school growth and success by creating chartersupportive school boards across the state
Our local elections work is designed to create environments where charter schools can succeed, offering increasing public-school options for parents and students. In short, we aim to expand the number of political climates across California that are friendly to charter schools. Friendly local county boards of education and school district boards play a key role in approving new charter schools, renewing existing charters, helping with faciliites solutions, and making other favorable policy choices.
For the last six years, we have been supporting candidates for local school district and county board of education who are charter champions and who want to run a school system that supports all public-school students. We are seeing an ever-increasing number of these local boards become pro-charter, and, as a result, we are seeing tangible wins for charter schools and the students they serve.
WE D EEPLY ENGAGE IN K EY CO U NT I E S AND S CH O O L D I ST R I CTS TO MEET THE NEED S O F THE M A J O R I T Y O F T H E CH AR T E R S CH O O L PO PU LATION. OU R GOAL IS TO CR E AT E R EG I O NAL E NVI R O NM E NTS WHER E CHAR TER SCHO O L STU D E NTS CAN T H R I VE . WE AR E FO CU SED O N ACHIEVI NG CH AR T E R F R I E ND LI NE S S O N SCHOO L B OAR D S AND COU NTY BOAR D S T H AT R E PR E S E NT M O R E THAN 7 5% O F CU R R ENT AND F U T U R E CH AR T E R S CH O O L ST U D E NTS ACR O SS THE STATE.
= O NE S CHO O L B OA R D
CO UNT Y B OAR D
B OA R D S
BOA R D S
MADE PROGRESS TOWARD MA JORIT Y SUPPORT
ACHIEVED MA JORIT Y SUPPORT
MAINTAINED OR STRENGTHENED MA JORIT Y SUPPORT
We believe in supporting candidates who will put children at the center of their decision-making and who believe that charter schools are a part of a healthy public school system. Here are some examples of such candidates from 201 5-201 6.
Tom Panas West Contra Costa Unified
Tom Panas won his election in the fall of 2016, partly because of the strong grassroots network of parents he’d built who campaigned alongside him. As a parent himself, Panas plans to represent parents and to bring their unique voice into the boardroom and into the decision-making process, bringing a voice for increased options and quality in WCCUSD’s public school system.
Jumoke Hinton-Hodge Oakland Unified School District
Jumoke Hinton-Hodge has been a champion of school choice for all kids ever since her own daughter attended a charter school. In particular, she fights for equity for the large population of AfricanAmerican students in Oakland, including supporting schools like KIPP Bridge, one of the highest achieving in Oakland.
Ref Rodriguez Los Angeles Unified School District
Ref Rodriguez’s election to the school board came with much anticipation from the charter community. He has worked to deliver win-win facilities solutions. He authored a resolution which sought to solve one of the district’s most intractable charter issues, Prop 39 colocations between district and charter schools.
Joanne Ahola and Heather Davis Sacramento County Board of Education
Joanne Ahola and Heather Davis kicked off African-American History Month by leading a conversation about the need for innovative approaches to closing the African-American achievement gap in public education. In the morning, they participated in a rally at the State Capitol Building with over 1,000 parents, teachers, and leaders from the Fortune School – a countywide benefit charter authorized by Sacramento County Office of Education with a mission to close the African-American achievement gap. In the afternoon, they sat on the dais in the Capitol to hear testimony from county superintendents on the important role that countywide benefit programs can have in scaling up solutions quickly. Ahola and Davis are committed to leveraging charter schools to make sure not one student is denied the right to a high-quality public education.
Amber Childress Alameda County Board of Education
Amber Childress went to Oakland Unified public schools as a young student and is now in a position to serve that community in her role on the Alameda County Board of Education. In high school, Childress had the opportunity to attend a public school in Minnesota via the A Better Chance program, an experience that opened her eyes to the value of high-quality school choices for all kids. She has spent time volunteering in public schools in Oakland and Alameda. Childress now exercises her right to choose the best school for her son and has sent him to both charter and district schools in Oakland.
Paulette Donnellon and Mark Powell San Diego County Board of Education
At Paulette Donnellon and Mark Powell’s first meeting after joining the board in January 2017, two new charter school petitions had been recommended for denial, and the special meeting to decide their fate was called with little notice, with the district not releasing their findings on the petitions until twenty-four hours ahead of time. Donnellon and Powell came out fighting for both schools and were ultimately able to convince the other three board members to reverse the staff recommendation and approve one of them, resulting in the first charter approved by the San Diego County Board since 2003.
Fatima Alleyne Contra Costa County Board of Education
As a mother of four children, Dr. Fatima Alleyne has been a tireless advocate for educational excellence and access. A charter parent herself, Alleyne is committed to working on behalf of all kids to ensure that everyone has an opportunity for a quality education. Previously, Alleyne served as a member of the West Contra Costa Unified School District’s Budget Advisory Committee, where she worked to provide critical oversight of the district’s finances so that budget decisions reflect the needs and priorities of parents. 13
BUTTE 3 Wins
SOLANO 2 Wins
SONOMA 2 Wins
NAPA 1 Win
CONTRA COSTA 3 Wins
We doubled the number of charter supporters winning local elected office this year
SANTA CRUZ 1 Win
CULTIVATING STATEWIDE SUPPORT
FRESNO Over each of the past two election cycles, the number of charter-friendly candidates elected to office with our support has doubled. We are seeing increasing numbers of charter-friendly candidates running for local offices across Californiaâ€”and winning. We run a candidate growth and development program, which helps aspiring charter-friendly politicians get their first political start. This program is helping us build a foundation of supportive elected officials across California.
KERN 1 Win
CHARTER SUPPORTERS WON LOCAL OFFICE ACROSS CALIFORNIA IN 2015-2016
LOS ANGELES 4 Wins
ORANGE 7 Wins
CHARTER SUPPORTERS ELECTED TO LOCAL OFFICE
PLACER 2 Wins
SACRAMENTO 12 Wins
SAN JOAQUIN 1 Win
ALAMEDA 6 Wins
2 011- 2 01 2
2 01 3 - 2 014
SAN BERNARDINO 4 Wins
RIVERSIDE 5 Wins
SAN DIEGO 3 Wins
2 011- 2 01 2
2 01 3 - 2 014
ACHI EVI NG EQ UITAB LE FU N DIN G
We achieved $129.3 million in funding for charter schools through local school bonds and parcel taxes
We believe that all local public school students, charter and traditional, should have equal access to public school facilities and funding. When school districts are putting a local measure on the ballot, we work to ensure that charter students are given a fair share of the proceeds. Our goal is that, one day, charter school students will be included equitably in every local measure across the state. In 2016, we helped pass seven local measures, which will result in a proportional share, an estimated $129.3 million, for charter school students. Looking back at our earlier work, we have seen the significant benefit for charter students when they
are included in local measures. As one example, in 2012 the voters of San Diego passed Proposition Z, a school facilities bond that set aside an equitable amount per student for charter schoolsâ€™ facilities. Over $47 million has been expended, and another $296 million has been committed, on charter school facilities projects. This and other projects are helping provide charter students with much needed facilities relief and additional per-student funding to help schools thrive locally, such as the The Oâ€™Farrell Charter School, pictured here, which was built with Prop. Z funds in San Diego.
di st r i ct
The Oâ€™Farrell Charter School
est i mat ed char t er shar e
$22.8 MILLION MEASURE K
East Side Union
West Contra Costa
parc el t ax
TA K IN G ACTI ON
Charter School Parents, Alumni, Students, and School Leaders are assuming an increasing amount of political leadership in their local communities
GROWTH OF CHARTERNATION
The charter school community across California has taken big steps over the last two years to grow a political movement of student-focused advocates. These supporters form a broad network ready to mobilize for charter school candidates and to act when charter schools need support locally and in the Capitol. We call this network of engaged charter advocates CharterNation. CharterNation has grown significantly over the last three yearsâ€”we started 2014 with 81,000 supporters and at the end of 2016 now have close to 300,000. This notable growth has come alongside the increasing political engagement of all members of the charter school communityâ€”parents, alumni, and school leaders.
16 20 -
TOTAL NUMBER OF CONTACTS
PARENTS Charter school parents are often the movement’s most passionate advocates. They have seen how their children’s lives are changed by charter schools, and parents work to protect what they’ve found for their kids. Our community and political organizing program helps to unlock the power of charter school parents to lead efforts to fight for their children, for their schools, and for the charter school movement.
1,332 FEATURED PARENT LEADER:
Parents joining at least two actions last year
LETY GOMEZ Lety Gomez is an all-star parent of a charter school student in San Jose and is part of the CCSA Families team there. This past fall, Lety signed on to chair the San Jose PAC and led meetings with parents and school leaders from various schools in San Jose. This included conducting interviews with candidates for three different school boards and creating endorsement recommendations for CCSA Advocates based on those interviews. She led volunteer efforts, personally participating in over a dozen volunteer activities and recruiting parents to engage on behalf of local and state legislative candidates. As a result of these efforts, Lety is exploring what it means to run for school board herself!
37 Teams actively working on an advocacy or political cause
194 Parent Leaders, who lead teams of active parent advocates
STUDENTS & ALUMNI We have been amazed by the impact of charter school students and alumni. We started the Charter School Youth Organizing program two years ago, when our Organizing Director realized we could harness the passion and commitment of charter school youth by creating a program dedicated to ongoing leadership development for these charter school students and alumni. We piloted the program during charter school founder Ref Rodriguezâ€™s run for LAUSD School Board and have since started other cohorts of student and alumni teams in Los Angeles and Oakland, working on electoral and advocacy issues. Our hope is to expand this program regionally across California.
FEATURED STUDENT LEADER: NOBLE STEPHENSON A core group of high school students from Partnerships to Uplift Communities, Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, and Camino Nuevo understood the stakes of the 2015 election in Los Angeles Unified and were eager to get involved. One of them, Noble Stephenson, first learned about then-current Los Angeles school board member Bennett Kayser when Kayser voted against Nobleâ€™s schoolâ€™s renewal. Coincidentally, Noble considered Ref Rodriguez to be something of a mentor. When given the opportunity to get involved in this election, Noble became one of our most frequent volunteers, ultimately leading a team of thirteen charter students and alumni. Charter school youth like Noble bring the passion to protect their schools and the charter sector broadly, and we cultivate their leadership and turn them into the fiercest advocates for the movement.
Noble is pictured above with fellow charter school supporters.
PACS OPENED: BEFORE 2015 San Bernardino Riverside Alameda
Charter school leaders are the lifeblood of our advocacy work. They understand the local politics, they are motivated to work on behalf of their schools, and they have the power to move their school communities toward common purpose. Just as the charter school movement relies on these leaders to be transformative agents for change in the lives of Californiaâ€™s youth, so too we rely on these leaders as the champions of our political advocacy work. They are the stewards of the charter school movement.
Sacramento San Diego Fresno
Increasingly, charter school leaders are organizing into local political action communities (PACs) to help develop and drive our political goals locally. Their expertise and leadership help us make decisions about local endorsements, conduct political fundraising locally, and rally the community behind charter-supportive candidates.
Contra Costa Los Angeles Orange Santa Clara Sonoma
FEATURED CHARTER SCHOOL LEADER: SHELLY LETHER One great example of this work is Shelly Letherâ€™s leadership in Fresno. Shelly played a critical role in launching the Fresno Charter Advocates for Great Public Schools PAC. Through this local PAC, Shelly engaged a larger group of school leaders in our 2016 electoral work by recruiting and endorsing viable candidates for the Fresno Unified School District and the Fresno County Board of Education. Shelly and the PAC raised funds to support these candidates, bringing charter leaders together from across the county. Ultimately, all four endorsed candidates won their elections, making strides toward greater charter friendliness in Fresno and throughout the county. Shellyâ€™s leadership and the work of the Fresno PAC demonstrates the power of the charter school community come together to impact their own political future by identifying and supporting great candidates.
SPENT ON WINS IN ELECTION
PRIMARY ELECTION GENERAL ELECTION
In the Senate, all of our endorsed candidates were successful in both the Primary and General Elections, giving us a perfect win record and resulting in all of our funding being spent on successful campaigns.
15/16 ANNUAL REPORT
Charter School Endorsed Candidates â€“ A Wise Investment ENDORSED CANDIDATES
We believe in measuring our results not only on wins and losses of the candidates we support, but also on whether our funds were invested wisely. We strive to see an ever-increasing percentage of our funds spent on wins, and we are pleased with the results we achieved in 2015-2016.
WON PRIMARY ELECTION WON GENERAL ELECTION LOST GENERAL ELECTION
A S S E M B LY
In the Assembly, the vast majority of our endorsed candidates were successful. In the General Election, we took a very expensive loss, resulting in a slim majority of our funds being spent on losses.
Locally, we supported a large number of candidates, ranging from modest support to major expenditures. In the Primary, we had a perfect win record. In the General, we won most of our elections and two-thirds of our funding was spent on winning campaigns.
On local ballot measures, we were successful on the majority of those on which we engaged, but we took a couple of expensive losses, resulting in approximately half of our funds being spent on both wins and losses.
Diane Tavenner Board Chair Summit Public Schools
Barbara GrimmMarshall Board Member Grimm Family Education Foundation
Jackie Elliot Treasurer
15/16 ANNUAL REPORT
O UR BO ARD
Marco Petruzzi Board Member Green Dot Public Schools National
Irene Sumida Board Member Fenton Charter Public Schools
Jed Wallace Board Member California Charter Schools Association
Joe Williams Board Vice Chair Walton Education Coalition
15/16 ANNUAL REPORT
G ETTI NG INVO LVED
Join our efforts to ensure all families have high-quality school choices
Charter school leaders, teachers, parents, alumni, students, and supporters can get involved with charter school advocacy. We would love to have you join our movement. There are many ways to get involvedâ€”from advocating for charterfriendly policies at the State Capitol to supporting local candidates to running to be an elected leader yourself.
Are you a charter school leader? Are you interested in getting your school community more civically engaged?
Are you a charter school student or charter school graduate? Are you proud of your school? Do you want to fight for all students to have access to charter schools like yours?
Join our CharterNation program. Contact charternation@ ccsaadvocates.org to sign up.
Join our youth organizing program. Contact alumni@ ccsaadvocates.org to learn more.
Are you a charter school parent? Do you love your school? Do you want to make sure that all students in your community have access to great charter schools?
Do you want to run for office? Do you know someone who would make a great candidate?
Join our movement of parents who are advocating for highquality public schools. Contact email@example.com for more information.
Local Political Action Committees Are you a leader in your local charter community? Join one of our local political action committees, or start your own with our support. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
A major component of our local candidate development program is political training and coaching. Rather than simply interviewing candidates who self-select to run for office and picking from the field, we specifically seek out those with promise to be champions for kids. We provide political coaching and training designed specifically to teach candidate prospects how to run for office and win. We develop skills in fundraising, endorsements, coalition building, increasing community profile, building the campaign team, communications, messaging and more. This training helps us support candidates who are both charter school supporters and politically ready to run for office. Contact email@example.com for more information on upcoming candidate trainings.
W W W.CCSA ADVOCATES.ORG