Founding History

Creating the Concept

As a long-time teacher and administrator in the public and charter sectors, Mr. Watts saw the importance of establishing “scholarship” pathways to college for students starting with strong academics and enhanced by arts and athletics pathways.

He created the concept for Scholarship Prep Charter School to provide high-quality educational opportunities for students and families in the most underserved areas.

Mr. Watts began his career in education teaching grades Kindergarten through eighth. He eventually became a site administrator at the top-performing district school in San Bernardino County and later co-founded an award-winning charter school organization before developing the concept for Scholarship Prep. He has authored Public Charter Schools Grant Program applications which have garnered over $3 million and has co-written multiple California Distinguished School Award applications.

Starting in the Senate

Former California Senator Gloria Romero made her mark in the legislature by leading education reforms to empower parents and provide children with greater school choice. After leaving the legislature, she focused her energies on helping parents utilize the Parent Trigger Law she authored in order to convert their under-performing schools to charter status.

Senator Romero (Ret.) was elected to the 24th Senate District in 2001, representing East Los Angeles and the greater San Gabriel Valley. She was elected to serve as Senate Democratic Caucus Chair and as Senate Majority Leader–the first woman to ever hold that leadership position in the history of the California State Senate. Prior to serving in the Senate, she held the post of Majority Whip in the California State Assembly from 1998-2000 and served on the Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees from 1995-1998 and the Los Angeles Elected Charter Reform Commission in 1998. Senator Romero served as Chair of the Senate Education Committee, the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee on Education, and the Chair of Public Safety.

Senator Romero led the way in championing California’s reform legislation in Race to the Top and was the author of the Parent Open Empowerment Act (popularly referred to as the Parent Trigger and Romero Open Enrollment Act law).