Selected readings on US charter schools
Almost 600 more seats in Connecticut charter schools have been made available for the next school year, after the State Board of Education granted charter operators requests during a Wednesday special meeting.
The total number of seats available in state charter schools will be brought to 7,018 — an increase of 567 from last school year. Of Connecticut’s 17 charter schools, only one, Winsted’s Explorations Charter School, expects a dip in enrollment. Explorations expects a drop of two students in the coming school year.
The largest seat increases were requested by and granted to Achievement First Bridgeport, which asked for an increase of 166 seats, and Hartford’s Jumoke Academy, which will expand by 113 seats.
Several of the schools requesting increases in the number of available seats are doing so to add additional grades. Jumoke, for example, will add a 10th grade, with plans to increase to 12th grade in following years.
Achievement First Bridgeport will add a 3rd grade and an 11th grade to the rolls. A recent PBS Newshour segment was devoted to Achievement First Bridgeport and its successes, which were noted by the State Board of Education as well.
The board voted unanimously in favor of the charter enrollment increases and of Jumoke’s planned expansion with Achievement First Hartford into upper grades.
Other schools requesting increases in enrollment included Elm City Coìlege Preparatory School in New Haven, which requested an increase of 38 seats, Amistad Academy, also in New Haven, which asked for an additional 60 seats, Hamden’s Highville Charter School, which wants to increase enrollment by 20 seats and New Haven’s Common Ground High School, which requested an additional 16 seats.
In all, 11 charter school requested increases in enrollment for the coming school year.
The state board confirmed that costs will remain “within the state budget charter school appropriation of $75,474,000 for the 2013-14 fiscal year,” as detailed in the board resolution.
According to state statute, the State Board of Education must grant a waiver for any state charter school that requests to exceed a 250-student enrollment (300 for schools with kindergarten through grade 8).
Debra Kurshan, the state’s chief turnaround officer, cited the “demonstrated record of achievement” each school requesting enrollment higher than the statutory allowance in her recommendations to the board.
According to the biennial state budget signed into law earlier this month, the per-pupil rate for state charter schools is $10,500 for the 2013-14 school year.
At its special meeting Wednesday, the State Board of Education also examined the timeline for submission of Alliance District turnaround plans.
Source: CT Ed News