For Immediate Release: April 2, 2014
Contact: Bob Bellafiore, 518-928-8471, email@example.com
Malloy Administration Extends Lifeline to Thousands of Families in Bridgeport, Stamford, and New Haven
State Board of Education Approves Four High Quality
Public Charter School Applications
Hartford, CT – The Connecticut State Board of Education today approved four new state charter applications for schools in Bridgeport, New Haven and Stamford.
Parents, educators, faith leaders and community advocates crowded the State Department of Education building for the 9:30 a.m. hearing. Dozens of speakers urged the state board to approve all four of the high quality charter school proposals.
The vote came one day after dozens of clergy members, parents and students stood with the four charter school founding groups to urge the state Board to approve all four applications.
Supporters of the schools also waged a grass roots letter writing campaign that sent over 500 letters to Governor Malloy and the State Board of Education.
The Board approved Booker T. Washington Academy in New Haven and Great Oaks Charter School in Bridgeport. They are scheduled to open for the 2014-15 school year.
It also approved Stamford Charter School for Excellence, proposed for Stamford, and Capital Prep Harbor School, proposed for Bridgeport. They are scheduled to open in the 2015-16 school year.
Northeast Charter Schools Network Connecticut State Director Jeremiah Grace said the following about the state board vote:
“This is a game changing moment for thousands of families in Bridgeport, New Haven and Stamford. The state is making the rhetoric about reform a reality for kids in desperate need of more quality public school options.
“We applaud Commissionor Pryor, the State Board of Education and the Malloy Administration for standing up to special-interest political pressure and doing the right thing for children in the poorest cities in the state.
“We also applaud the coalition of hundreds of faith leaders, parents, grandparents, kids, and other supporters who came together in support of these high quality schools. Without this groundswell of support, this would not have been possible.
Facts about the new public charter school applications:
- Bridgeport: Capital Prep Harbor is modeled after the highly-successful Hartford magnet school where 97% of students graduate in four years and 100% go to college.
- Bridgeport: Great Oaks Charter School would focus on helping students whose first language is not English and provide a high-dosage tutoring program.
- New Haven: Booker T. Washington Academy is a partnership with the highly-successful Family Urban Schools of Excellence (FUSE) organization.
- Stamford: Stamford Charter School for Excellence is modeled after the Bronx Blue Ribbon Award-winning charter school—one of the best in the entire state of New York.
Facts about Connecticut charter schools:
- Charter schools are tuition-free public schools that admit students via a blind lottery. They accept all students regardless of their academic ability.
- They are managed by non-profits and subject to government oversight. Charter schools must perform to stay open.
- State charter schools do not take funding away from the local school district in any way, shape or form. When a student attends a state charter school, the local school district actually keeps the state funding for that student, and the charter receivesa separate grant from the state. C.G.S.A. § 10-66ee.
- Districts are eligible for reimbursement from the state for transportation and special education services provided to charter school students. C.G.S.A. § 10-66ee.
About the Northeast Charter Schools Network
The Northeast Charter Schools Network is a regional advocacy organization for the more than 200 charter schools in New York and Connecticut. Its mission is to support and expand high-quality charter schools in the region so that all students can receive a great public education.
834 Asylum Avenue, Hartford, CT 06105
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