CSDC Advocacy Affinity Group: Connect with Committed Charter Advocates from Across the State

Registration is open for the CSDC Advocacy Affinity Group! Complete the form linked below to receive an invite for the next virtual meet-up on March 24. 

The CSDC Advocacy Affinity Group is a place for California charter school leaders to come together to focus on promoting access to equitable funding and greater autonomy and flexibility for charter schools.  

The Advocacy Affinity Group is open to all CSDC Members Schools and offers an opportunity to connect with other school leaders who are committed to advocacy.  Through their own state and local advocacy work, participating charter leaders strive to raise awareness about the benefits of their schools in particular and charter schools more broadly.   

The goal of the group is to influence policy decisions that affect the charter school community. Group participants engage in legislative efforts and participate in public forums to promote policies that allow charter schools to operate with greater autonomy and flexibility, and to provide the best possible education for students. 

The group gets together monthly to network, catch up on hot topics, and discuss strategies for influencing public policy.  

At the last meeting on February 24, we reviewed new bills, including AB 533 (Fong R-Bakersfield) that would allow charter schools to appeal to the county if a district doesn’t act, and SB 274 (Skinner D-Berkeley) which would eliminate willful defiance as a reason to suspend or expel any charter school student, in any grade.  

The group is facilitated by CSDC Legislative and Outreach Specialist, Laura Kerr, who brings to the group her unique experience in public policy, advocacy, and facilitation. 

Laura joined CSDC in November 2022, and brings 20 years of experience in state and local public education advocacy. She has experience in both higher education and K-12 policy in California. Laura previously served as the director of governmental relations for the California State Student Association (CSSA), where she advocated for access and affordability for CSU students. She’s also worked with members to advocate for charter renewals, facilities access, and predictable oversight policies as the Managing Director of Policy and Advocacy for Northeast and Central California for the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA).  

Laura served as the Senior Advisor on Constituent Advocacy on the CCSA Governmental Affairs during the fight against AB 1505. She mobilized parents and school leaders statewide to defend charter schools in the state capitol. In 2020, Laura established a consulting firm to assist clients establish new charter schools in the post-AB 1505 authorizing environment.  

Laura is an experienced facilitator, having supported the Northern California cohort of the 360 Accelerator — a community of practice for charter school leaders striving to improve student outcomes and success, operations, DEI, organizational health, and advocacy. Laura uses her facilitative leadership skills to ensure CSDC Advocacy Affinity Group is timely, dynamic, and worth-while for participants.  

Joining the CSDC Advocacy Affinity Group is a powerful way for charter school leaders to connect with like-minded individuals, share resources and information, and collaborate on efforts to improve education in California. By working together, we can create a strong voice for change and make a positive impact on the lives of students across the state. 

CSDC Member Schools are encouraged to join us for the next CSDC Advocacy Affinity Group Meeting on Friday, March 24 at 11:00AM via Zoom.  

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