November 13, 2008

CA Charter Schools Association Expands Operations in Fresno

The California Charter Schools Association today announced plans to expand high-quality charter schools in the Fresno region. The expansion supports the Association's commitment to local leadership and resources for developing high-performing charter schools in the area.

The Association's General Manager for the Fresno Region, John Madrid, developed a partnership with the Association in his former role as Mayor Alan Autry's Education Liaison and has continued to champion the growth of high-performing charter schools in the area.

"In neighboring markets such as Oakland and Los Angeles, where there are much higher numbers of quality charter school options, charter schools have had a positive effect on the broader public school system by sharing best practices, relieving overcrowding and serving at-risk kids," said Madrid. "With our new resources, we plan to replicate these positive results in the Fresno region."

Fresno has recently benefited from an influx of resources designed to transform public education in the region. This includes a $3.9 million grant to the Association from the U.S. Department of Education to open new charter schools to families in the high-need communities of Fresno, Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland and San Bernardino. It also includes a $375,000 grant to the Association from the James Irvine Foundation to expand high-quality charter schools in the Fresno region.

The Walton Family Foundation has targeted Fresno Unified for charter school growth with grant funding support. Also, the Association's High Quality Grant Program coupled with the state's Public Charter School Grant Program, allows charter school developers in the area to benefit from up to $850,000 in implementation grant funds.

Several existing high-quality charter schools in the Fresno area have made a commitment to excellence and continual improvement through their participation in the Association's Certified Charter Schools Program, the nation's first quality-assurance program that recognizes charter schools that have demonstrated a commitment to a rigorous, independent quality review process. These schools include Hallmark Charter School, KIPP Academy Fresno, Sierra Charter School and University High School.

Among the new resources planned for charter schools in the area are new Association offices located at the University of California, Fresno Center. The Association's Fresno leadership includes General Manager John Madrid and Assistant General Manager, Jeff Sands.

About the California Charter Schools Association

The California Charter Schools Association is the membership and professional organization serving the more than 700 charter public schools that serve over a quarter million 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.