Natalie.Lund's blog

Mr. Trump, Don't boost our budgets while cutting education: Charter school CEOs

"We need federal support for all schools, for all kids, not just kids in 'choice' schools," said Charter School CEOs in a joint statement published in USA Today. The article was written in response to the "skinny budget" the White House released earlier this month, which offered $168 million in new funds for charter schools but also cut critical programs impacting all public schools such as Pell Grants and AmeriCorps.

YES Prep and Other Charters Fight Uphill Facilities Funding Battle

Students march with "I Choose YES Prep" signsThe Texas Tribune talks with YES Prep CEO Mark DiBella about facilities funding for public charter schools.

“Honestly, I think the lack of knowledge ... hurts our efforts a ton,” DiBella said. “Last session, I testified to the House Education Committee specifically related to facilities funding, and members of the House committee did not fully understand that charter schools are public schools.”

YES Prep's Carlos Villagrana Appointed to State Board for Educator Certification

YES Prep's Carlos VillagranaGovernor Greg Abbott appointed Carlos Villagrana to the State Board for Educator Certification. Villagrana has worked at YES Prep since 2010 and serves as the Managing Director of  YES Prep's Teaching Excellence program. According to the Governor's office, "The board develops certification and continuing education requirements and standards of conduct for public school teachers." Villagrana's term on the board will last until 2021.

Families Empowered Announces Charter School Common Application Timelines via

Families Empowered, YES Prep partner

School Applications for Harmony, KIPP Houston, YES Prep, and 3 More Open November 1
HOUSTON, Texas, October 18, 2016 –  Families Empowered, a Houston-based nonprofit organization, has announced today that five public charter school networks serving Houston parents will accept applications on a common timeline: opening November 1, 2016 and closing February 10, 2017.

YES Prep College Initiatives Team Talks Grit + Imagination

YES Prep's College Initiatives team attended a summer institute called Grit + Imagination, An Educator's Summit. The Walton Family Foundation highlighted YES Prep's Senior Director of College Initiatives, Rhiannon Carabajal Killian, in its article about the event. “Grades or test scores will increase when students practice character skills that are rooted in science,” she explained. To read the article, click here

YES Prep Spotlighted for Converting Nontraditional Spaces into Places of Opportunity

The Houston Chronicle spotlights YES Prep in its article about converting nontraditional spaces into schools. YES Prep's White Oak campus used to be a Kroger store. YES Prep has also established schools in office buildings, retail centers, a church, and a delivery warehouse. Because every building is different, "we've got to be a little bit more flexible" with the design, said Keith Weaver, YES Prep's Managing Director for Operations. Read the article here.