You likely already know that charter schools have a long history of receiving bipartisan support from elected officials. And, of course—parents definitely support public school options. But did you know that celebrities are on board too?
Well-known actors, musicians, and professional athletes are Team Charter, and we’re excited to share three of the biggest names to support charter schools in 2019.
Everyone with a child under the age of 15 knows who Kristen Bell is—she’s the voice behind Anna in Frozen and Frozen II. But for those of us in the education community, she’s become so much more than that. By using her platform to support educators nationwide, Bell has become a champion for parents and educators. Earlier this year, she joined Chrysler to surprise the students, faculty, and parents at Detroit Prep Charter School with two minivans full of supplies from her company Hello Bello and a check to help fund their new playground. She’s also using her substantial Instagram following to help even more teachers, through a #FeaturedTeacherFriday campaign. Bell posts the teachers' wish lists in her bio and invites her followers to help check the items off. In 2019, she included Tej Carbone in the line-up—a teacher at a charter school in Florida—and Jazzi Goode—a teacher at newly opened charter school in North Carolina—showing yet again that she is proud to support ALL schools.
Not convinced that Bell supports high-quality public school options? She’s also on the board of Citizens of the World Charter School in Los Angeles. We’re sold.
2019 will go down as the year that Common’s charter school, Art in Motion, finally opened doors in his native Chicago. The facilities challenges for charter schools are so real that even well-connected celebrities can’t avoid the struggle. His school was originally going to open in the fall of 2018 and co-locate with a district school campus, but that plan fell through leaving the school without a home. With an additional year of fundraising under their belt, the school was able to open at the beginning of the 2019 school year, giving students on Chicago’s South Side with an arts-focused high school option.
The National Alliance honored former NCAA and NBA basketball star Jalen Rose with our inaugural Charter School Trailblazer Award in 2019. Following his career as a professional athlete, Rose became an analyst with ABC and ESPN… and the founder of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in his home city of Detroit. Rose doesn’t just lead a school that serves over 400 students and sent 100 percent of their inaugural class to college, trade/technical school, or the military—he’s also a voice for all students, speaking out on behalf of his school and charter schools everywhere.
Kim McCabe is the senior director of digital strategy at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.
Read more of the National Alliance's series of end-of-year blog posts: