Connecticut Charters Urge Lawmakers to Equitably Support Public Charter School Students

Posted by on 02 / 16 / 2016 0 Reactions

Dozens of public charter school students, parents, and educators visited the State Capitol today to urge members of the state’s Appropriations Committee to fairly fund public charter schools.

For Immediate Release: February 16, 2016
Contact: Michael Shulansky, mshulansky@necharters.org860-922-4595

CONNECTICUT CHARTERS URGE LAWMAKERS TO EQUITABLY SUPPORT PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL STUDENTS

Hartford, CT – Dozens of public charter school students, parents, and educators visited the State Capitol today to urge members of the state’s Appropriations Committee to fairly fund public charter schools. 

Right now, Connecticut’s public charter school students are given less funding and are treated unfairly under the law. Though they are public school students like any other, each public charter school student is given, on average, nearly $4,00 dollars less in public operating support per year than their peers in traditional public schools. This is in spite of the fact that the vast majority (73%) of public charter school students are from low-income homes and communities.  

"We're here to speak out because across Connecticut, charter school students like my children are being chronically underfunded. My kids deserve the same funding as any other child in Connecticut," said Chris James, a Bridge Academy parent from Bridgeport

"Like so many others who are sacrificing to make ends meet, we are stretching our limited funding to meet all of our costs," said John Taylor, executive director for Booker T. Washington Academy. "No district in the state is given less per pupil funding than public charter schools. This fundamental inequity hurts our highest-need children most of all."

“I understand that state leaders have very tough decisions to make in the next few months,” said William Frome, a ninth grade student at Explorations Academy in Winsted. “When making your decisions, I humbly ask you to consider the many types of schools and the many types of students who benefit from attending them.”

“Our system, which forces thousands of kids and their families to fight year-after-year to secure state support for their existing seat in their public school, is fundamentally broken," said Jeremiah Grace, Connecticut state director for the Northeast Charter Schools Network (NECSN). “Despite our budget challenges, it is critical that lawmakers find a way to distribute what education funding we do have based on student need, rather than type of public school. Charter students do not deserve to be penalized for exercising their right to choose a non-traditional public school.”

 

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