“Bridgeport Kids Can’t Wait”–Charter School Supporters Rally For Funds

Chris Rosario
State Rep. Chris Rosario speaks at charter school rally.

From Kathleen Megan, Hartford Courant:

On a picture-perfect Thursday, hundreds of children, parents and grandparents donned chartreuse T-shirts and danced, shouted and pumped their signs at the Capitol to urge legislators to put money in the state budget to expand the number of seats available in charter schools.

“We’re here together because of an urgent truth,” said Christopher Mercer, a parent from Bridgeport who has a kindergartner on multiple charter school waiting lists. “The Connecticut state legislature is about to deny 861 public students access to a great public charter school.”

The event drew about 1,000 participants from as far away as Brooklyn, N.Y. , and Boston.

Full story here.



  1. I was lobbying legislators at the Capitol on Wednesday and I specifically spoke with Chris Rosario. I specifically asked him was he going to lobby to re-fund the two new charter schools the Budget & Appropriations Committee defunded. He repeatedly said “I don’t know what my position is on this.” I stated the budget is already out of committee and you don’t know what your “position” is on this issue? He stated “I have parents in my district that want Capital Prep.” I told him that the 20-30 parents in your district that want Capital Prep. do not out weight the thousands of children who attend public schools in your district that are significantly under resourced. I made it clear there would be a price to pay if he was supporting Capital Prep. He kept saying I do not have a position on this.

    Let’s fast-forward. Suddenly, a little over 24 hours later he is on a stage at a pro-charter school rally promoting Capital Prep. This is what I can’t stand about politicians. They will look you right in the face and blatantly lie.

    See you in 2016, Chris Rosario! 🙂

  2. This is the email I sent to every senator and state representative last night:

    Good evening,
    After reviewing the twitter feeds of all the pro-charter school organizations and news reporters, it is abundantly clear that although “For Every Child” issued a press release announcing there would be “thousands” of attendees at today’s rally at the Capitol it is now being reported there were approximately 1,500 attendees with the vast majority being innocent children. There are many photos of five and six year old children being used as “fillers” and “props” holding signs they cannot even read.

    I wish someone would have grabbed the microphone and stated the following:

    • Everyone who is under the age of 18 please move to the right side

    • Everyone who is a paid charter school staff member please move to the right side

    • Everyone who is a paid lobbyist or employee of any pro-charter school organization please step to the right

    • Every parent/grandparent that has received a “parent stipend” to be here today please step to the right

    • Everyone who is a resident of Massachusetts and New York please move to the right

    • Everyone that is not a resident of Bridgeport and Stamford please step to the right

    Now close your eyes and try to picture how many Bridgeport and Stamford residents would be standing on the left side. I would be shocked if there were even fifty adults still standing. In fact, a Charter School Rally was held in Bridgeport this past Monday. Only 9 adults and two children attended.

    Both the elected Bridgeport and Stamford Boards of Education voted to place a moratorium on any new charter schools prior to the SBOE approving two new charter schools in Bridgeport and one in Stamford. Both the elected Bridgeport Parent Advisory Council, which represents about 30,000 BPS parents, and the elected Stamford Parent Teacher Council, which represents approximately 20,000 SPS parents voted against any additional charter schools in our municipalities prior to the SBOE approving three new charter schools. In addition, Stamford Mayor Martin spoke against a new charter school in Stamford at the Public Hearing conducted by the SBOE. Both Bridgeport and Stamford Board of Education members and parents testified before the SBOE on these resolutions. The SBOE completely disregarded the will of elected BOE and parent leaders and went on to approve two new charter schools in Bridgeport and one in Stamford.

    Should Capital Prep. Harbor Charter School be funded, it will siphon away $7.8 million from our severely underfunded BPS in its first five year of operation. Under state law we are required to fund 100% of their bus transportation and special ed. costs. In addition, the federal Title I allocation follows the child when they enroll in a charter school. Dr. Perry’s school is slated to open with 250 students this fall while the BPS will open with close to 22,000 students. It is unconscionable that anyone would support taking millions from 22,000 impoverished urban school students to serve just a few hundred in a charter school.

    We are urging you to not succumb to the propaganda perpetuated by highly compensated charter school lobbyists from ConnCAN, Families for Excellent Schools, Northeast Charter Schools, Achievement First, and their latest brainchild “For Every Child.” They do NOT speak for the vast majority of Bridgeport residents.

    After all, they don’t stand “For Every Child,” they stand for “Every CHARTER School Child.”

    Thank you,

    Maria Pereira

    Bridgeport Public School Graduate and Rabble Rouser

  3. Now why on earth are the charter schools full? Go figure.
    BTW–there are only 20K students in BPS and that number is probably an exaggeration. I am not sure if these numbers count the charter school kids or the kids that BPS ships to Stratford, Trumbull and Fairfield.

    www .nctq.org/districtPolicy/contractDatabase/districtReport.do?id=271

    Bridgeport Public Schools, Connecticut
    National enrollment rank: 381
    Labor context
    Connecticut requires collective bargaining by school districts if a majority of teachers vote for union representation.
    Teachers’ union affiliation is unknown
    1,363 teachers
    $239,526,866 2014-2015 budget

    Student demographics
    20,155 students
    100% free/reduced lunch


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