We were joined by several hundred education leaders, advocates, and reporters in our digital briefing on Monday, for a post-election analysis of the state of the charter school sector.
Debbie Veney, sr. vice president of marketing and communications at the National Alliance, moderated a panel discussion on how federal, state, and district election outcomes will affect the charter school sector. The event panelists were Ron Rice, sr. director of government affairs at the National Alliance, Todd Ziebarth, sr. vice president of state advocacy and support at the National Alliance, and Myrna Castrejón, president and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA).
Key Takeaways from the Conversation Include:
Federal Elections: We are cautiously optimistic about the federal election results. We held on to many charter school supporters and also picked up new ones – both Democrats and Republicans – in the U.S. House and Senate. And while we do not yet know who President-elect Biden will select as his nominee for U.S. Secretary of Education, we believe allies on both sides of the aisle will be unlikely to support a candidate hostile to charter schools. Mr. Biden has a strong legacy as a unifier who supports high-quality educational access for all students. We look to him to continue building on that legacy, and also look forward to working with the many new members of the 117th Congress – including a charter school parent.
State Elections: There were some pleasant surprises across the country – including in governor’s races, state legislatures and with state superintendents. The charter movement maintained ground in most places and overall landed in a slightly better political position post-election. There will be much work to do in the months ahead, but overall the impact on charter schools could have been far worse.
Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD): The LAUSD school board race was the most expensive in history, and there was a lot on the line. LAUSD – the authorizer of one-third of California’s charter schools –picked up two new members and flipped the majority from being anti-charter. This election was described as a “correction” in the bluest of blue states – where races up and down the ballot steered towards the center and away from the fringes of both parties.
You can find a full recording of the webinar here.