In this New Haven Register letter, NECSN Connecticut State Director Jeremiah Grace responds to comments made by New Haven school board candidates, saying, "Board members are twisting facts that simply aren’t up for debate. By law, charter schools are public schools that are subject to all the same educational standards as all other district and magnet schools in the state."
Comments made recently by our city’s school board candidates are inaccurate and misrepresent the transformational work of New Haven’s public charter schools (“New Haven school board candidates vow to offer fresh perspective,” Oct. 7). Charters here are changing lives, and offering high-quality educational options for families and their children.
Board members are twisting facts that simply aren’t up for debate. By law, charter schools are public schools that are subject to all the same educational standards as all other district and magnet schools in the state. What’s more, they are open to all children, for free, and when there are more applicants than the state mandated number of seats, select students via a blind lottery.
Let’s put another myth to bed. Charter schools simply do not force kids out — special education children or otherwise. The facts say the exact opposite is true. New Haven’s Board of Education released attrition data last February that showed charters consistently lose a smaller percentage of their students throughout the school year than their district counterparts.
Along with all of this, charter schools are also the most accountable public schools there are. Every three to five years, charters go through a tough and thorough renewal process. If they’re not hitting their academic or financial goals, they close.
Charters are public schools that exist to serve families and the community and give them another public school option — they collaborate with the local district and work to help children achieve success in life. Rather than pit district and charter schools against each other, we need to continue working together to help ensure children in New Haven have a bright future.
— Jeremiah Grace
This letter originally appeared on the New Haven Register