Charter School Trailblazers

lead image

For more than 25 years, education’s most innovative community leaders, and principals have gone above and beyond to meet the needs of children in their community. The charter school supporters, coming from diverse racial, socio-economic, and political backgrounds, are united by their shared belief in the life-changing an excellent public education has on all children. Take a moment to meet those whom have paved the way for the charter school movement.

Charter Schools Lifetime Achievement Awardee

Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker is the former chief of staff to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He helped organize the 1963 “March on Washington,” and the 1963 protests in Birmingham, Ala., which led to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. His concern for educational excellence as a continuation of his civil rights activism led him to advocate for a charter school in the Harlem community, where he co-founded the Sisulu-Walker Charter School of Harlem, the first charter school in New York approved by the State University of New York.

2017 Charter Schools Hall of Fame Awardee

Caprice Young’s leadership in education reform has transformed the movement in Los Angeles and the nation. Elected to lead the L.A. Unified school board in 1999, she helped increase the number of independent charter schools from seven to over 40 by the time she left office, with dozens more approved to open. Many of those early schools have grown to positively change L.A. In 2003, she founded the California Charter Schools Association, charting the movement’s course and providing a national model for successful state charter organizations. Young has since focused her work at the school level, successfully transforming two prominent, high-performing CMOs. She is now CEO of Magnolia Public Schools, operating 10 high-performing charters in Southern California. 

2017 Champion for Charters

As a member of the Health, Labor, Education and Labor committee, Senator Tim Scott has consistently supported school choice for families in South Carolina and around the nation. Having experienced a lack of educational option growing up, Senator Scott is passionate about school choice and advocates for charter schools in federal legislation.

U.S. Senator Tim Scott