Susan J. Bragato, a pioneer in California’s charter school movement, died on Jan. 5 of breast cancer. She was 47.
Ms. Bragato was one of the founders of the state’s first charter school, the San Carlos Charter Learning Center, which opened in 1994. She worked with staff members at the White House in 1998 to have President Clinton use the school as the location from which to announce a new federal charter school grant program.
In 1994, Ms. Bragato became the founding executive director of the California Network of Educational Charters, or CANEC, which was the first statewide charter school association. She worked for two years, without a salary and often from her dining room table, to help build the organization.
In 2003, CANEC moved its headquarters from San Carlos to Los Angeles and changed its name to the California Charter Schools Association.
For more than 10 years, Ms. Bragato served as the chairwoman of the California Conference on Charter Schools, an annual meeting that now draws more than 1,500 participants. Building on her experience in California, Ms. Bragato also helped establish a national network of state charter school associations.
A version of this article appeared in the January 12, 2005 edition of Education Week