Senator Boitano Named Champion for Charters by National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

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For Immediate Release:

Contact: Sarah Johnson, (202) 521-2826 Diana Ozemebhoya , (202) 521-2838

This week the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) recognizes Senator Boitano for his commitment to promoting high-quality charter schools. Annually, the Champions for Charters awards recognize public officials for leading a major public charter issue or initiative, serving as a highly visible public charter school advocate, and consistently supporting charters as a high-quality public school choice option.

The honorees are announced during National Charter Schools Week, which runs May 1-7. "Senator Boitano has shown leadership and continued commitment to high-quality charter schools throughout his time as a public servant", said Peter C. Groff, president and CEO, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. On behalf of the 1.6 million children enrolled in charter schools, we thank Senator Boitano for making sure New Mexico families have access to high-quality public charter schools. "Charter schools are truly the change agents and disruptors in public education today. Their innovative approach to governance, budgeting, staffing, scheduling and curriculum - coupled with their small size - has energized students and parents, said Sen. Boitano. Charters have long waiting lists in my school district. I've already seen a significant change in our traditional public schools in New Mexico because of the reforms pioneered by our charters." New Mexico Senator Mark Boitano has demonstrated steadfast support for public charter schools during his 11 years in the legislature. In particular, his sponsorship of the 1999 Charter Schools Act and leadership in strengthening it in 2006 continues to open up countless new public education opportunities for children, teachers and principals throughout New Mexico. Joining Boitano in receiving this years recognition are U.S. Representative Howard Buck McKeon, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of California and Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist.

Today marks the beginning of the 12th annual National Charter Schools Week celebrating the ways in which charter schools are helping children and families. Charter schools are independent public schools that are free to be more innovative and are held accountable for improved student achievement. They foster a partnership between parents, teachers and students to create an environment in which parents can be more involved, teachers are given the freedom to innovate and students are provided the structure they need to learn. This week, public charter school supporters around the nation are hosting and participating in numerous activities to mark the movements success and growth.

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
Is the national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the charter school movement. The NAPCS works to increase the number of high-performing charter schools available to all families, particularly low-income and underserved families who currently do not have access to quality public schools. NAPCS provides assistance to state charter school associations and resource centers, develops and advocates for improved public policies, and serves as the united voice for this large and diverse movement. More than 1.6 million students attend nearly 5,000 charter schools in 40 states and the District of Columbia.