Last week, the Hartford Board of Education voted to expand its nationally recognized collaboration with Achievement First Charter Schools, and parents and students stand to benefit [Aug. 28, news, "Charter Gets Green Light"].
Under the new agreement, Hartford will help Achievement First obtain facilities and funding needed to add 96 fifth-graders next year and eventually grow into a full middle school. The agreement also continues successful training partnerships and allows the two to share student test scores for state accountability purposes.
This is a tremendous opportunity for the city, and builds upon a successful history that has brought more than $5 million in grants to Hartford.
As a regional organization operating in two states, we have seen some school districts go to great lengths to oppose public charter schools, including illegally withholding money meant for students. It's heartening to see the relationship flourish as it does in Hartford.
There are still many inequities facing charter schools in Connecticut -- including a sizable difference in per-pupil funding -- but common-sense collaborations like these can help close that gap and give more children access to quality public schools.
Jeremiah Grace, Hartford
The writer is Connecticut state director for the Northeast Charter Schools Network.
[This article originally appeared in The Hartford Courant]