Parents and school leaders, along with national and local advocates, came together at the Capitol Thursday to condemn a proposed moratorium on new charter schools in Connecticut.
For Immediate Release: Thursday, March 19, 2015
Parents, school leaders, national and local advocates condemn moratorium on public charter schools
Hartford, CT – Parents and school leaders, along with national and local advocates, came together at the Capitol Thursday to condemn a proposed moratorium on new charter schools in Connecticut. The event is one of a growing number of calls – including one from clergy and parents yesterday in New Haven – for state leaders to oppose the moratorium. The group gathered shortly before a public hearing on Senate Bill 1096, which proposes a two-year moratorium on new public charter schools across the state.
There are already more than 3,600 students on waitlists for public charter schools in the state, and 40,000 students statewide who currently attend schools where the majority of students don’t read, write or do math on grade level. Senate Bill 1096 would deny those of children the opportunity to choose a school that fits their leaning needs by imposing a two-year moratorium on approving any new charter schools in the state. The proposal will shut out new students, curtail charter growth, and effectively rob parents of their ability to send their child to the high-performing school of their choice.
“No new charter schools puts the future of my daughter Iyonna in jeopardy,” said Nefretiria Gross, a Stamford parent that has applied to the Stamford Charter School for Excellence, which is approved to open next fall. “I’m exercising my right to choose the school my child attends. State leaders shouldn’t take that away.”
“I understand how parents of the thousands of children on waitlists for schools of choice feel, my own children had been on a wait list in Bridgeport,” said Lindy Hennessy, a Common Ground High School parent. “Parents have been told to wait until next year, wait until next budget season, wait for a miracle.”
“Connecticut already has some of the most restrictive limitations on charter school growth in the country,” said Rob Reed, of National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “Connecticut leaders should not impose a charter school moratorium. It’s a mistake for the state and it’s students.”
“Charter authorizers across the country have been systematically improving their charter school policies for the last dozen years while simultaneously allowing new schools to open,” agreed Amanda Fenton, of National Association of Charter School Authorizers. “This can be done in Connecticut too.”
“Every child deserves the chance to learn at a school like Park City Prep, and have the same shot at success that our students have had,” said Bruce Ravage, the school’s executive director. “This bill is not good for education in Connecticut.
“A moratorium on charter schools tells parents that their children don’t deserve access to a school that works for them,” said Jeremiah Grace of the Northeast Charter Schools Network. “State legislators need to stop this moratorium before it goes any further.”
The Coalition For Every Child is a movement of parents, students, educators, community members, faith leaders, advocates and organizations dedicated to ensuring that each and every Connecticut student has a quality education. Stand with us and support the campaign for better schools. For more information visit http://www.foreverychildct.org.
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