Charters at 30: Reimagining Public Education

Download the Portrait of the Movement 2022

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of California’s Charter Schools Act, CCSA explores how charter public schools are reimagining public education in ways that benefit California students. Download the Charters at 30 – Reimagining Public Education report today!

A Letter
from the CEO


Welcome to the Charters at 30: Reimagining Public Education website

I’m Myrna Castrejόn, President and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association. 

As we celebrate 30 years of the California charter public school movement, I want to thank the policy makers and educators that ensure charter public schools remain a free, public and open to all education opportunity for families in communities across the Golden State. And to the millions of parents and students who are part of our broad and diverse charter community, thank you for being shining examples of how integral charters are in California’s education system.

A most heartfelt thank you to the late state senator, Gary K. Hart who 30 years ago forever changed our state’s public education system by authoring and securing passage of the Charter School Act of 1992. Senator Hart’s reimagining of the public education system through charter public schools provided educators the flexibility to design instructional models that put students first and deliver a high-quality education. Today, California has approximately 1,300 charter public schools serving 700,000 students.

I encourage you to explore this website where you will find a timeline that captures the evolution and milestones of California charter schools; videos of bipartisan leaders that support and endorse charter public schools; A “Tell Your Story” feature where you can record and submit video testimonials of how charters have impacted you or your community. Throughout the year, we will be updating this website with updated news articles, social media toolkits that schools can use on their platforms and much, much more. 

On behalf of the nearly eight million students whose lives have been transformed by a public charter school education, I thank you all for your continued support. We look forward to the next 30 years of charter public education, a united public charter school community, and a stronger California. 

Siempre Adelante,

Myrna Castrejón
President and Chief Executive Officer
California Charter Schools Association

30 Years of
Free, Public,
And Open To All

California Charter Schools were founded on the guiding principles of equity and inclusion. Every Charter School is a free, public school open to any member of the public, regardless of income, zip code, academic performance, disability, race, sexual orientation, or religion.

This year, we celebrate 30 years since the passage of the CA Charter Schools Act

On September 20, 1992, California’s education public education was made more responsive to communities when SB 1448 by Sen. Gary K. Hart, the Charter Schools Act, was signed into law.

See the full history of California Charter Schools