SOURCE: California Charter Schools Association

November 15, 2006 11:05 ET

CA Charter Schools Unite to Double Number of Parents With Access to Charters

New "My School!" Campaign, Web Site Will Allow Parents to Easily Find a Charter School Near Them

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 15, 2006 -- California's charter public schools today launched the "My School!" public awareness campaign to mobilize parents statewide to find, support and expand access to charter schools. The campaign aims to double the number of parents statewide who can choose charter schools for their children. The California Charter Schools Association kicked off the campaign with the launch of, an interactive Web site that includes a map of California to help parents find a charter school near them.

The "My School!" campaign, designed to reach more than 300,000 new parents, will help inform parents about their right to choose the best public school for their child. The campaign will also assist parents, teachers and local community groups in starting new high-quality charter schools and will provide additional support to strengthen existing charter schools.

In a survey of California voters commissioned last year by the Association, 78 percent of the voting public said that giving parents the ability to choose the best public school for their child would help improve the overall public school system.

"Charter schools open doors of opportunity for hundreds of thousands of families across the state because they empower parents, teachers and local communities to have ownership over their public schools," said Caprice Young, CEO and president of the California Charter Schools Association and parent of a charter and a district public school child. "The 'My School!' campaign will allow more than 300,000 new parents to learn that they have the right to choose the best public school for their child and will help parents find a charter school near them."

More than 50 charter schools across the state have already started to participate in this campaign, including incorporating the "My School!" theme in school curriculum projects, community activities, and creating dialogue among educators and parents about what their school means to them. These schools have provided more than 2,500 photos of their teachers, parents, students and supporters holding a "My School!" sign proclaiming what their charter school means to them.

Visitors to the Web site can quickly find a charter school by viewing an interactive map of their neighborhood and clicking an icon that represents the local charter to get more information. The Web site includes links to each charter school's profile through "Greatschools" (, a nationally recognized online resource to help parents access even more information on public schools. In the coming months, the Web site will roll out online tools that will assist parents, teachers, students and supporters in their efforts to find, support and expand access to charter schools and link them to the campaign and to each other.

The campaign is part of a larger effort by the Association to expand access to charter schools. In addition to increasing its web-based technical, communication and mobilization support and offering charter teacher recruitment fairs across the state, through the campaign, the Association is announcing a series of programs and services including:

--  The "High Quality Charter Grant" program, which will provide $8
    million to community groups to open charters in Los Angeles Unified, San
    Diego Unified, Oakland Unified, Sacramento City Unified and Fresno Unified
    school districts.
--  Offering a series of "How to Start a Charter School" workshops, and
    through its "Charter Launch" program, will provide over 90 hours of direct
    support to communities in need, enabling them to start some 65 new charter
--  The "California Charter Quality Institute," which will provide ongoing
    expertise and leadership mentoring to over 40 newer charter schools.
--  The launch of the "California Charter Building Fund" in early
    December, which will provide below market-rate loans to help more than 25
    charter schools purchase facilities.
About the California Charter Schools Association

The California Charter Schools Association is the membership and professional organization serving over 600 charter public schools that serve close to 220,000 charter school students in the state of California. The Association's mission is to improve student achievement by supporting and expanding California's quality charter public school movement.

Contact Information


    Gary L. Larson
    Vice President of Communications
    California Charter Schools Association
    (415) 722-0127

    Sonia Torres
    Media Relations Manager
    California Charter Schools Association
    (213) 618-3801