Charter Pulse

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CONNECTICUT: Keeping the Promise of Quality Public Charter School Support

educationWhen the Connecticut General Assembly last year overwhelmingly approved some of the most sweeping education reform legislation our state has ever seen, they made a promise to our students, which includes support for public charter schools students.

It’s a promise that must now be kept.

Quality charter schools set children up on a path for success and give them hope for the future—a fact that was clear in an exchange at a recent Education Committee public hearing.

Members of the General Assembly’s Education Committee recently gathered to hear testimony on the education portion of Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s biennial budget recommendations.  Among the crowd of folks who waited up to eight hours to speak out in favor of those recommendations was a contingent of students from Achievement First in Hartford.

State Representative Andrew Fleischmann, co-chairman of the Education Committee, asked students in attendance if they had a message to share. “You’re here for some reason, I’m sure,” Rep. Fleischmann said.

One student told committee members, he wants legislators to support his school.

“And your school is a charter school, right?” Fleischmann asked at the public hearing.

“Yes,” the student proudly stated.

Another young charter school student replied: “I’m here because I was thinking that I could work here some day.”

State Rep. Fleischmann responded, “I’m sure that you can. In fact, I would guess you’d probably beat us in an election tomorrow if it were permissible for you to run.”

Those charter school students demonstrated the confidence that comes with a quality public education. Her school will ensure she gains the knowledge and skills to match her ambition. It’s a reminder of the simple truth: a high-quality public education can make all the difference for our children.

Malloy’s budget recommendations included a slight increase in the per-pupil funding for Connecticut charter schools — an increase that begins to close the inequity between the funding for public charter school students.

The state legislature and the governor have a responsibility to follow through on the promises they made by approving education reform measures, and cutting funding now would break those promises. We all owe it to our state’s children to ensure they have access to the world-class public education they deserve— regardless of wealth, race, or zip code.

If not, students like those who so bravely spoke to the Education Committee may not have the chance to one day be legislators themselves.

Source: Great Schools for All (blog) – Jennifer Alexander (Acting CEO, ConnCAN)

View more articles on Connecticut charter schools

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This entry was posted on March 14, 2013 by in Advocacy, Charter Schools, Connecticut and tagged .

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