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Elected Officials, Parents and School Leaders Call on Legislature to Fund Public Charter Schools of Choice Fairly in CT State Budget

State Senator Art Linares and State Representative Chris Rosario Echo Parents’ Call to Fund Their Children Fairly

(Hartford, CT) – On Monday morning, State Senator Art Linares and State Representative Chris Rosario joined Connecticut parents from Hartford, New Haven, and Bridgeport at the Capitol to demand a new, equitable funding system that funds public schools of choice – including public charter schools and magnet schools – fairly.

“Public charter and magnet schools have long set Connecticut’s scholars on a path to success, but these schools of choice are being deprived of the funding they need and deserve,” said State Senator Art Linares, Senate District 33. “It’s important that we fix this broken status quo and come together to fund all of our state’s students fairly.”

“Connecticut’s schools of choice change thousands of lives in and beyond Bridgeport, and open thousands of doors for our state’s neediest students,” said Representative Chris Rosario, Assembly District 128. “Th
ese schools must be funded fairly.”

More than 50,000 children attend one of Connecticut’s nearly 120 schools of choice, which act as a critical education option for low-income children of color across the state. Yet these schools of choice are underfunded, which prevents them from serving more high needs students and has forced them to make painful budget cuts to existing programs.

Every year, families in charter and magnet public schools face the paralyzing uncertainty of whether or not their schools will be funded for the following year. This is deeply unfair to the predominantly low-income communities served by charters and magnets.

Speakers at the 10:30 AM press conference called on state legislators to include schools of choice in an equitable funding system that provides all public schools with sufficient resources to serve Connecticut’s highest need communities.

“Connecticut’s unfair system must be replaced with one that doesn’t discriminate against any public school children, no matter their race, income, zip code or the type of public school they attend,” said LaQuita Bowles, a public charter school parent from Bridgeport and organizer with Families for Excellent Schools.


        

“It’s not right that public school parents like me should have to worry about their children not receiving enough money to get the education they deserve,” said Annette Armstrong, a public charter school parent from Hartford. 

In the wake of CCJEF v. Rell, the Connecticut Superior Court decision that branded the current funding formula as unconstitutional, state legislators have been tasked with building a new system. Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen has appealed the case, but has also called on legislators to reform the problematic status quo, while Governor Dannel Malloy has urged legislators to proceed with creating a fair formula in the 2017 legislative session. Now, schools of choice parents and school leaders are calling for a system that funds children based on individual need, regardless of what kind of public school they attend.

 

Read other articles about the here: Parents Call For More Funding For Charter, Magnet Schools – The Hartford Courant and here: School Leaders, Parents Call for Funding for Public Schools of Choice – By NBC Connecticut