New Grant from Oak Foundation Supports Key Initiatives

by Lauren Morando Rhim

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: New York City/Geneva Switzerland—Oak Foundation has approved a second grant to The National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools (NCSECS) in support of their mission to ensure that students with diverse learning needs are able to fully access and thrive in charter schools.

“We are thrilled to be able to continue our partnership with Oak Foundation,” exclaimed co-founder and executive director of NCSECS, Lauren Morando Rhim. “The funds will make a tremendous difference as we work to fulfill our ambitious agenda. In particular, the funds will support our efforts to identify innovative practices and provide technical assistance to a cohort of charter schools, publish our Annual Research Synthesis, and grow our Equity Coalition to engage key partners in both the special education and charter school sectors.

 NCSECS first received a one-year grant from Oak Foundation in 2013-2014. The new, three year grant expands and supports the organization’s work in three areas:

1.     Identifying, examining and supporting charter school special education lab schools (up to four each year);

2.     Expanding current organizational efforts related to research and coalition building; and,

3.     Building a sustainable non-profit organization that successfully fulfills its mission and vision.

Dana Brinson with Oak Foundation stated, “The unique and important work underway at The National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools highlights the exceptional quality and potential to create change that we expect and prioritize at Oak. We are looking forward to helping expand the Center’s capacity and impact on students and families as they seek to achieve their important mission.”

 The Oak Foundation grant begins January 2015 and runs through 2017.

 Despite the rapid growth of charter schools whose enrollment now exceeds 2.2 million students in over 6,000 schools across the U.S. criticism persists about equal access and robust educational opportunities for students with disabilities. NCSECS was formed in 2013 with the goal to advocate for students with diverse learning needs to ensure that if they are interested in attending charter schools, they are able to access and thrive in schools designed to enable all students to succeed.  The vision of NCSECS is that the Charter school sector will fully embrace its responsibilities to meet the needs of all students and serve as a model of innovative and exemplary programs for students with diverse learning needs.

 To learn more, visit www.NCSECS.org and follow on Twitter @NCSECS