Hispanic CREO’s Julio Fuentes leads celebration of public charter school community at State Capitol

Posted by on 04 / 21 / 2016 0 Reactions

As Connecticut nears the 20th anniversary of its charter school law, parents, students and educators came to the Capitol today to celebrate the diversity of its schools and welcome a nationally recognized Hispanic education reform leader who spoke on the importance of school choice for families.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, April 21, 2016
CONTACT: Michael Shulansky, mshulansky@necharters.org, 860-922-4595
 
Hispanic CREO’s Julio Fuentes leads celebration of public charter school community at State Capitol
 
Hartford, CT – As Connecticut nears the 20th anniversary of its charter school law, parents, students and educators came to the Capitol today to celebrate the diversity of its schools and welcome a nationally recognized Hispanic education reform leader who spoke on the importance of school choice for families.
 
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Parents, students and educators had an opportunity to meet with dozens of lawmakers over the course of the day. Nearly all of Connecticut’s 24 public charter schools were represented.
 
 
Julio Fuentes, President and CEO of Hispanic CREO (the Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options), said: “Parents have a fundamental right to choose a school that fits their children’s needs, yet across our country it’s treated as a second-class right. This systemic discrimination hurts poorer children of color the most. Barring a child from an equal opportunity to attend a quality school is every bit as insidious as making someone recite the Preamble to the Constitution before letting them cast a ballot. It’s wrong and must be changed.”
 
“Children and families who exercise their right to choose charters cannot be treated as second-class citizens any longer,” said Mr. Fuentes, whose organization is the only national public policy Hispanic organization dedicated solely to K-12 education reform to advocate for parents and children.
 
The Northeast Charter Schools Network also recognized local advocates with the second annual Torchbearer Awards, giving them to school leaders Matt Nittoly of Norwalk’s Side by Side Charter School and John Taylor of New Haven’s Booker T. Washington Academy. 
 
The awards celebrate members of the public charter school community that do an exceptional job advocating on behalf of schools, students, and families.
 
Parents Wanda Simmons of Bridgeport’s Capital Prep Harbor School and Rochelle Duyan of New London’s Interdistrict School for Arts and Communication also received Torchbearer Awards for their work on behalf of their children and public schools.
 
Matt Nittoly, Executive Director of Side by Side Charter School said: 
“On behalf of Side by Side Charter School it is an honor to receive this award. For us, being recognized as the highest performing charter school in CT means so much more than above average test scores and achievement results. Our students are not only thriving in the classrooms, but are progressing and learning every day to be socially responsible contributing members of society. Thank you to all members of the Side by Side community for making this the best choice school program in Connecticut.”
 
Jeremiah Grace, Connecticut state director for the Northeast Charter Schools Network said: 
“It’s incredible to see parents, students, and educators from public charter schools across the state come together to share their experiences. Charters are community driven schools – today we spoke with one loud voice and said to elected leaders: charters are doing great things for our neighborhoods and deserve to be treated fairly.”
 
 
About Hispanic CREO: Hispanics are among the most undereducated ethnic groups in the United States. Founded in 2001, Hispanic CREO works to address this crisis by helping parents advocate for their children and for policies that expand educational opportunity. Hispanic CREO is the only national public policy Hispanic organization dedicated solely to K-12 education reform to advocate for parents and children. Learn more at www.hcreo.org or @hispanicCREO
 
About the Northeast Charter Schools Network: The Northeast Charter Schools Network is the membership and advocacy organization for the more than 250 public charter schools in Connecticut and New York. Its mission is to support and expand high quality charter schools.
 
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