Jessica Martinez, the lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s moratorium on magnet and charter schools, says she will be a Democratic candidate for Board of Education. Strap in. It’s gonna be a wild battle.
She brings a spirited school-choice mantra to the campaign at odds with the equal passion of school board member Maria Pereira who is opposed to charter schools that run independently of traditional school districts. Pereira, in the second year of a four-year term, will likely back a slate of school board candidates opposed to Martinez’s philosophical views. Pereira is also Democratic leader of the Upper East Side 138th District.
In a recent column that appeared on the website of ConnCAN, a pro charter school group, school parent Martinez writes:
At its heart, Martinez v. Malloy is about ensuring every child, regardless of their background or zip code, receives a world-class education and an equal opportunity to succeed. In the case, we challenge Connecticut’s outdated, broken laws that prevent new magnet public schools and charter public schools from being built and opening their doors. We are also challenging the state’s Open Choice program, which penalizes school districts that accept students from inner-city school districts. Each of these policies are barriers to opportunity and perpetuate inequity in our state, effectively widening our state’s achievement and opportunity gaps.
Just like my fellow plaintiffs and I did by filing Martinez, parents must get involved in the fight for quality public education. And they must get involved now.
It appears her way of additional involvement is entering the race for school board. Many Democratic primaries for City Council and school board will take place in September.