Federal Judge Dismisses Charter School Advocate Lawsuit

Board of Education member Jessica Martinez as the lead plaintiff has lost a federal lawsuit seeking a constitutional right to attend a charter school in the matter of Martinez versus Malloy. Charter schools are publicly funded but operate independently of traditional school districts. Bridgeport has six charters schools, the most in Connecticut.

Education columnist Wendy Lecker shares more on this from the Education Law Center:

A pro-charter group has lost its Connecticut lawsuit seeking a federal constitutional right to attend a charter school. California-based Students Matter filed the case, Martinez v. Malloy, in 2016. The case was dismissed on September 28 by Judge Alvin W. Thompson of the United States District Court in Hartford.

Students Matter, founded by Silicon Valley entrepreneur David Welch, is a major proponent of charter school expansion. The organization initiated, and lost, the Vergara case in California, which unsuccessfully challenged that state’s laws governing teacher tenure.

In Martinez, Students Matter challenged in federal court Connecticut laws governing public school “choice” programs, specifically charter and magnet schools. Those laws determine funding levels and set limits on the expansion of charters and magnets. The Martinez complaint asserted that these laws violate the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the United States Constitution.

Full story here.



  1. A huge win for true public schools, true public school children, and true public school teachers.

    I watch what is happening with charter $chools nationally, statewide and locally and I truly feel people are starting to understand they are not about doing what is best for children. For the most part they are an “industry” which is about making money for the white milluonaires and billiinaires that invest in them and back them.

    Charter $chools are also the most segregated schools in both the country and CT. No one that believes in equality should support any form of segregation.

    One of their other main purposes is to break the most powerful unions in the country. That woukd be NEA. If these white millionaires and billionaites can break the NEA they believe all unions will fall by the wayside.

  2. “Charter $chools are also the most segregated schools in both the country and CT.”
    Really? More segregated than Barnum, Bryant,Cesar, Classical Studies, Columbus, Cross, Curiale, Dunbar, Hallen, Bassick and Harding?

    1. Yes,Charter Schools are segregated. charter Schools are not segregated by the old simple rules of black vs white which are easier to see and define. Charter Schools are segregated by an even more evil and insidious standard;Charter Schools choose between the “winner and losers.” I hesitate to say this but this standard has similar roots to the Nazi Aryan philosophy;there are winners and losers,the sinners are to be coddled and the losers are to be found out and forgotten.

    2. When comparing schools you must compare choice schools to choice schools because they are not neighborhood schools, students come from large catchment areas, and they only gain admission by lottery.

      All of our magnet schools combined are 10% less segregated than our traditional BPS. The six (6) charter $chools in Bridgeport are 10% MORE segregated than our traditional public schools. The main purpose of magnet schools was to reduce segregation and isolation.

      If our magnet schools can become less segregated by lottery why aren’t the charter $chools located in Bridgeport able to meet that same expectation?

      There is a charter $chool located in Bridgeport which is 99.4% minority. Not only is it 99.4% minority, it is almost all Black students.

      Martin Luther King would NEVER support re-segregating our schools, therefore I doubt he would have ever supported charter $chools.

      In addition, the NAACP has passed a resolution calling on a moratorium on any new charter $chools in the United States.

  3. I do not know if it is possible per the General Statutes of The State of Connecticut but we really need a voter referendum about future expansion if charter schools. Massachusetts had a voter referendum about charter schools and charter school expansion,the People of Massachusetts voted to stop charter school expansion when voters finally found out the truth about Charter Schools.

  4. Frank, like college’s, like jobs, like sports, like life. Winners and Losers. You Win some you Lose some. It’s better to let them all go to failing schools rather than trying to reach some through a lottery for the hopes of a better education.

    Easy for you to say Frank, your children didn’t have go to through this potpourri mediocrity that is the Bridgeport school system.

  5. *** Charter & Magnet schools are in the business to make money & public schools are in the business of making cuts, etc.. to save money & provide just the bare educational requirements! So which kids get the over-all short end of the educational stick per state? ***WHAT SAY YOU?***

  6. The local school district of Cornwall spend $36,176 per pupil while Bridgeport spends $14,164 per pupil.

    Frank, are you willing to take a big raise in your property taxes to fund the Bridgeport school system like Cornwall thus giving the children the resources that would negate the need for charters?

    1. Is it about education or is it about union jobs? It’s the public schools or nothing. Charter schools are shut down if they fail but if a public school is failing we keep funding that failure and the students are the losers but we kept those union jobs and the hell with the students.

    1. Don, that’s right, nobody is concern about the failing public school system. It doesn’t matter if it’s public schools, magnet school church schools, charter schools, home school it doesn’t does not matter as long it’s providing good education for the students. Blacks have no problem with charter schools because charter schools were the only form of education after slavery because it was against the law for blacks to read so blacks took it upon themselves to open schools for their children. Whatever it takes to educate our children is what we need to be using.

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