REDMOND, OR -- The head of Redmond Proficiency Academy says it’s time for charter schools around the state to join forces. Dr. Jon Bullock says he helped form the Oregon Coalition of Community Charter Schools because it can be difficult to access resources they need to be successful. "Myself and some other charter school leaders from around the state recognized that there was a need to support and advocate for charter schools, particularly community-based charter schools. And, of the 125 charter schools in Oregon, most of them are small charter schools that are simply trying to fill a niche in the market; and we have a number of those in Central Oregon."
Bullock says they've hired an Executive Director, and the coalition officially launched Monday, "We’ve got about 20 member schools, to start with. And, our focus is going to be on supporting those schools, helping them develop and developing an advocacy network for charter schools. But, also an accountability system where we want to be able to help police our own schools, as it were," He tells KBND News, "Because, one of the criticism of charter schools is that they have lots of freedoms, and sometimes people don’t do a great job with those; and we want to make sure that we do that. RPA’s taken a lead in that, because we’ve become one of the largest, most successful charter schools in Oregon. We believe it’s our responsibility to help the charter school world and to help education in Oregon, by taking lessons we’ve learned and sharing those."
He expects the group will eventually engage in lobbying activities to influence educational legislation. Bullock believes state lawmakers should support options and opportunities for all students, regardless of what school they attend.