5 min read

NCSC23 | National Charter Schools Conference

Written by
Charter Schools Development Corporation
Published on
June 27, 2023

Unquestionably, our CSDC team had an incredible time connecting with colleagues and partners, deep in the heat of Texas, at the 2023 National Charter Schools Conference. We were on a mission to absorb knowledge and inspiration, fueling our ongoing strategic planning efforts.  

In this post, we present three crucial takeaways, thought provoking questions, and the commitment we intend to make as we forge ahead at CSDC.

No longer the new kid on the block Charters must evolve in the school choice landscape

In 1991, our Board Vice Chair, Ember Reichgott Junge, sponsored the first Charter Law in Minnesota, sparking educational reform and school choice – a true game changer. Fast forward to today, fresher faces such as Micro Schools, Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) and an increasing number of non-seat-based programs are rocking the school choice boat. From Nina Rees's opening remarks urging us to "innovate in an ever-changing world," to Derrell Bradford's insights on Micro Schools as budget-friendly innovation incubators, the message is clear: the sector must broaden its horizons. Smart, experience-backed innovation and results (echoing recent Credo findings!) will propel the charter school movement onward.

Question: How will you drive innovation for better access, choice and equity to communities across the country?

Prioritizing Kids Over Politics

Advocacy sessions at the conference underscored the importance of placing kids over a state of blue, red or purple. Though seemingly obvious, meaningful advocacy often entails the defense of school choice in addition to propelling new wins. Montana became the 46th state to enact a charter law leaving four to go. We applaud Indiana, Arkansas and Idaho in creating funding streams focused on facilities, a topic near to CSDC. And, we are sending positive vibes to Texas as they head into a special session on facilities funding.

Question: How can you actively take part in the advocacy space to create impact?

Embracing the Future: What’s Next?

Keynote speakers, Principal EL and Luma Mufleh’s inspiring messages centered on a growth mindset and resilience. Principal EL reminded us to embrace failure as a way of learning. Luma Mufleh challenged us to design for the solution: always asking “why and what’s next.” We strongly encourage you to explore their work further.  

Question: What’s next for you? Are you open to failure if it ultimately benefits kids?

CSDC Commitments:  

We firmly champion the belief that every community deserves a thriving educational ecosystem with a school of excellence at its core. We pledge:

  • To embrace opportunities others dismiss, by supporting innovators dedicated to creating access, choice, and equity for the next generation.
  • To work tirelessly to eliminate facilities barriers, advocating for equitable funding and delivering flexible solutions to both our present and future partners.

Interested in learning more? We'd love to hear from you!

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