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Dear Friend of Coleman,
Huge news! Last week, we won oversight for SF charter schools and protections for charter families.
SFUSD passed a Charter Oversight Resolution which will:
This resolution was won with lots of hard work from the Close the Gap coalition-- which includes Coleman Advocates, UESF, Legal Services for Children, SEIU, Jobs With Justice, and the San Francisco Families Union-- and with letters and support from Malcolm X Academy families and staff, 100% College Prep, AAPAC, PPSSF, the 2nd district PTA, charter teachers from Five Keys Charter School and more!
Youth, families, educators and allies testified and also called on the district to invest in alternatives to charter schools through the whole community school model. Martin Luther King and Hillcrest schools highlighted the powerful results this strategy is showing in their school communities! The oversight resolution is a huge victory, and it will be important to get right to work on implementing the resolution. This will mean the district setting up an oversight committee, ensure the data gathering that the resolution calls for begins and is shared publicly -- and to make sure that families whose children attend charter schools know the process for having their rights ensured. You can read more here, here, here, and here.
Close the Gap will also be working with school sites who want to use a whole community school model, and supporting them to hire community school coordinators to carry forward this important work. We recently met with Superintendent Matthews and want to thank him for affirming that if school sites want to follow community school best practices and hire a community school coordinator who is a SFUSD employee, they will have his support.
Congratulations again to everyone who worked hard to ensure families will have a process for ensuring their rights are being respected in all taxpayer funded schools -- and to ensure that the district is supporting whole community school models that offer a democratically controlled alternative to charters which meet students’ needs in public schools!
The Close the Gap team
p.s. Thanks also to everyone who came out to Coleman's youth-led Board of Education Candidate Forum last Thursday. Special appreciation to our co-sponsors Chinese Progressive Association (extra thanks to CPA for AV and facilitation support!), LYRIC, Mission Graduates, My Brother's and Sister's Keeper SF, Parents for Public Schools, SF Youth Commission and 100% College Prep. It was a great event with young people asking important and provocative questions of the candidates about the issues that matter most to them - school pushout and policing, education equity, immigrant rights, Black student achievement, student wellness, LGBTQ student rights, and student and parent voice, among others. The candidates all shared how much they appreciated hearing from - and having to answer to - the students who their decisions would most impact. Check out our facebook photo album here for some images from the forum.
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