Rosario Urges Fair Funding Of School Choice

Rosario, charter school group
Rosario with charter school advocates.

Declaring “Connecticut’s schools of choice change thousands of lives in and beyond Bridgeport, and open thousands of doors for our state’s neediest students,” State Rep. Chris Rosario on Monday joined charter school advocates and parents at the State Capitol urging fair funding for “public schools of choice including public charter schools and magnet schools.”

Rosario, a Democrat, was joined by Republican State Senator Art Linares who represents eastern Connecticut and parents from Bridgeport, Hartford and New Haven.

Charter school advocates are engaged in a funding battle with supporters of traditional school districts. Charter schools receive public dollars but operate independently of traditional school districts that also oversee magnet schools.

More than 50,000 Connecticut students attend 120 schools of choice, according to Families for Excellent Schools, an advocacy group that supports charter schools, which argues schools of choice serve as a critical education option for low-income children.

At a morning news conference Rosario said “These schools must be funded fairly.”

Critics argue charter schools swipe needed resources from traditional school districts.

“Connecticut’s unfair system must be replaced with one that doesn’t discriminate against any public school children, no matter their race, income, zip code or the type of public school they attend,” said LaQuita Bowles, a charter school parent from Bridgeport and organizer with Families for Excellent Schools.

Last year a state judge ruled Connecticut’s education funding formula unconstitutional that disproportionately hurts urban school districts. The state legislature is trying to craft a “fair formula” that addresses the judge’s decision.



  1. Charter schools are not public schools. Charter schools are truly private schools if you really do some research. Charter schools should not receive public funds. If parents want to send their children to private schools such as “charter” schools, then these same parents should pay tuition. In November 2016, Massachusetts had a referendum on whether or not to expand charter schools. A vigorous debate ensued and the people of Massachusetts voted to stop expansion of charter schools. Connecticut needs to do the same referendum. Taxpayers need to go back to school and become educated about charter schools. The entire Bridgeport GA delegation needs to be raising their voices about full funding for Bridgeport Public Schools and stop acting as lobbyists for the Charter School business. And that is what charter schools are, a business. Worse yet, charter schools are insidiously reintroducing a new and more transparent form of segregation into the public school discussion. With charter schools, you will have two classes of urban schoolchildren–winners and losers.

  2. Well going to Bridgeport grammar schools allows a kid to mix with 15-year-old 8th graders wearing ankle monitors ordered by the court. Do you want you daughter to go to school with 11- and 12-year-old girls who are pregnant? Do you want your kids to go to school with mentally challenged kids who have trouble learning? The list goes on and on. I don’t have kids or grandkids going to school here, thank God.

    1. Andy Fardy, you are right. The Bridgeport School System is forced to deal with the entire myriad of ills that face urban families and urban children. There should be flexibility to be able to address challenged students from those children who are willing to learn and build a productive life. Due to lack of money and lack of leadership, the Bridgeport School System has been challenged to be able to match the needs of urban students.

  3. Parents understand their children aren’t going to get a quality education in Bridgeport public schools so what are they to do? They don’t really know if charters are better, but what they do indeed know is public schools aren’t working for their children.

    As a person that Andy and others constantly remind me who no longer lives in the city, but what they don’t know is I moved to the suburbs to ensure my son would get a quality education, which he wasn’t getting in the Bridgeport school system. That was 20 years ago and I can safely assume in the last 20 years it hasn’t gotten better. Had I had the opportunity to send him to a charter school I would still be a resident of Bridgeport and not had to choose between the city I love and a son I love more than Bridgeport.

    1. Donald Day, you are absolutely right. One caveat, any child going to BPS is not a guaranteed failure. A lot depends upon the involvement with parents. In terms of my own life, my parents faced a similar situation. Forty-five years ago, my own education began and my parents had to make choices. I went to kindergarten at Bryant School, part of the BPS. However, to start elementary school, my parents sent me to our parish’s parochial school, St. Emery in Fairfield. So too with my two sisters. For High School, I went to Notre Dame. So too, my two sisters. My parents had to work hard and sacrifice to PAY for this education. Today, there are no guarantees any Bridgeport child will attend a charter school. There is some type of “choosing the right students,” if the child does not get in, I believe they are put on a waiting list. All others are “losers.” I think this is patently unfair and cruel. The citizenry of Bridgeport need to demand the accommodations that charter schools students have and have the same level for BPS students. The charter school set-up is not fair.

  4. Chris Rosario and Charlie Stallworth are bought and paid for by the money-hungry Charter $chool industry, and that is what it is, an industry.

    Chris Rosario or Stallworth will not become my State Senator without a major battle.

    Where are they on the over 21,000 children in our true public schools? Malloy’s budget proposes a loss of $285 per BPS child, however it gives Charter Schools an additional $500 per child while we continue to fund every dollar of their transportation and special ed. expenses.

    Pure silence on our 21,000 students.

  5. One thing that is missing in this conversation are the Bridgeport Magnet Schools which do work but only a very small number of Bridgeport students are able to attend. There one thing those who post on OIB know and that is the Bridgeport school system is not the answer. Now Charter Schools may not be the answer but we can’t keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Charter can be a part of the answer in Bridgeport but not the whole answer.

  6. So because there isn’t enough room for every student in a charter school then no student should go, meaning every student in Bridgeport gets the opportunity to go to a failing school. Convince the parents who love their children that all students deserve the same chance to fail and if we can’t help them all then we won’t help any.

  7. Frank, which is the better alternative, help some or let them all fail? I would suggest you talk to some parents who have their children in both charter and public schools and without exception they all will tell you the lottery isn’t without its problems, but it’s better than not having lotteries and leaving their children in a broken public school.

    Bridgeport’s children deserve every opportunity to succeed academically and until the public schools are like those of Fairfield or Westport then most parents thank God for charter and magnet schools.

    1. Don, those posting against even the thought of charter schools have no skin in this subject plus let’s look at the makeup of the 21,000 students in the Bridgeport school system, over 90% of them are black and brown, so really they are a concern? Please.

  8. Here is another program the BOE purchased from Yale University. It is a wellness program that monitors kids’ moods by color charts. So if little Johnny says he is not in his Happy place the teacher can have him go outside in the corridor to try to find his happy place. The kid is not monitored while he is in the hallway looking for his happy place. What BS and what a waste of my tax dollars.

  9. Ron, everybody has skin in this subject because it’s a societal investment.

    Frank, if they’re winners and losers based on who gets to go to a Charter school, then who are the losers, the ones who have to go to the public school?

    Day is correct on the alternative “let all the students fail,” and Maria on the charter schools take the best of the Bridgeport students and leave the problematic students for the BPS. But that’s only part of the current educational system.

    Let’s face it. It’s more about who will receive taxpayer money for education, than what is being taught. That’s all we are hearing about, money; not how or what is the most effective way to educate the students. Identify a student’s strong and weak points and focusing on it and them. For the most part education is a cookie-cutter system in the public school system and a slush fund for patronage.

    What people have to remember, this is not about public education. It is government education provided through taxation.

    What is the difference between tax money going to political hacks and patronage paid from the BOE budget, than charter schools’ taxpayer money going to Billionaire’s patronage hacks?

    Are they not all Bridgeport students being educated by taxpayers?

    Maria talks about how Charter students received $500 more per student and BOE students received $285 less per students. Yet are they not all Bridgeport students?

    Maria, how much does the BOE receive per student, and how much do Charter schools receive per student?

    How much money does the BOE allow the Lighthouse program to take away from the BPS students? If my figures and math are correct, the BOE analysis was $3.3 million, that’s around $160 per student. That’s just one program. Even if you get the $500,000 reimbursement that still leaves $2.8 million or $134 per student the BOE is allowing Lighthouse to take away from the students. How the BOE thinks that is fair to the students I don’t know. I dare not ask JML to audit the BOE $250 million dollar budget to see how much the BOE is allowing other programs or political hacks to take away for the students. So you can understand why Bridgeport parents are upset with how the BOE is running the school system and wanting an alternative.

    1. Robert, what is it with you, if I say yes then you find a way to reply back to me with no and it doesn’t matter what it is.

      Everybody DOES NOT have skin in this subject because it’s a societal investment. Why would those who don’t have children, relatives, friends, neighbors in the Bridgeport school system especially when over 90% of those Bridgeport students are black and brown?

      1. 1. You bash me about Maria telling me not to respond to any of your posts, specifically hers. Telling me to be a man. I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t. 🙂

        2. What does the racial makeup of the student body have to do anything?

        3. I disagree with you, I’m saying everybody has skin on the subject as a society, not just the 90% black and brown or the 10% white whom you neglected to mention.

        4. We all have skin on the subject, some more the others, but as a society everybody is impacted by our school system.

      2. I guess Ron what’s up with me when I read your post. What is the difference between a black man leaving out 10% of the white kids and a white man leaving out 90% of the black and brown kids?

        It’s always 100% black and white with you, even though white kids are attending the same failing school system.

  10. I don’t want to make Maria out to be the bad guy, considering she is the only BOE member who posts on OIB, and she is a strong opponent of Charter schools in which we differ on their value in the government education process. Not to mention the BOE was boycotting BOE meetings to terminate her to the point where they, the BOE, wanted to terminate themselves by voting for a state takeover. It went so far as to recruiting proponents of charter schools to force her resignation or a state takeover. In which an organization the BOE disbanded and Maria was trying to reestablish with the BOE where the organization elected a proponent of charter schools as its president to stage a protest against her, Maria, and force her resignation or a state takeover. Things that make you go WTF.




  11. Robert, you are incorrect with your assertion that charters gets only the brightest students when in reality it’s based on the lottery system and ones’ chances of attending are governed by chance. My grandson goes to Classical Studies which is 97% black and Latino and over 90% are eligible for free or reduced lunch. He’s there because he defied the odds with respect to the lottery and his mother applied to several charters over several years to get him in.

    Maria’s opinion is biased and without merit when comes to charter schools. If we can’t help all 21,000 then none should be helped is straight-up bullshit. Four of my five children went through the Bridgeport school system so I know from where I speak.

    1. Day, I didn’t say the gifted kids, or poor kids. I said problematic kids. At some point in my life I became a problematic kid in a parochial school and they kicked my ass out. That will not change in any school system. I was a problem for them and the other students. When I entered the public school system they just let me go through. When I got to high school I went to two, Central full-time and Bullard Havens share time until 6:00 in the evening. I graduated from both and I couldn’t even read or write. I wasn’t even spelling my name correctly when I graduated. News flash for people telling me to read a book, up until seven years ago I barely know how to read and write.

      This is where the problem comes in, not only will they separate problematic kids from disrupting the class for the other kids, they will dictate who, what, and how much they will be taught. It’s about reaching these problematic, either socially or intellectual, kids and for the most part in public schools don’t get reached and special schools are not available for them.

      I don’t even want to tell you the hindrance in my educational process throughout the last 20 years or how I got this far in the last five years.

      1. It’s also about teaching urban kids on the same level as other more affluent kids.

        Ron, this is where black and white comes in to play. Slavery. It’s a black-only thing in this country. Why? If you compare the Irish slave trade up until the Civil War, it was 5 to 8 times worse based on population.

        1. Robert, if you take someone from Russia, Germany and Ireland and put them next to me everybody would know I was the black person in the group while the others have skin color protection. How would you know the Irishman from someone from Russia or Germany? You wouldn’t know, would you?

          1. What?

            If an Irishman and Englishman were next to each other I wouldn’t know which one’s ancestry was the one who was enslaved or which one did the enslavement.

            If you were placed next to p-diddy I would know you are not p-diddy, the billionaire living in a mansion.

            However if you were in one a group, either in the Hutu or Tutsi in Rwanda I wouldn’t know what group you were in, where you were in the group that was slaughtered or the group that did the slaughtering. What color protection did the Hutu have over the Tutsi when they genocided the Tutsi?

            The only skin protection I’m aware of is the SPF in my suntan lotion. How many blacks are victims of other blacks? You don’t seek protection, you seek racism. I seek protection from racism, from how, who, and where it is propagated.

          2. Robert, the topic is “Rosario Urges Fair Funding Of School Choice,” I really don’t think talking about slavery belongs in this topic but here is my reply to your video.

            “The Irish Were Slaves Too”
            Is it true? If we’re talking about slavery as it was practiced on Africans in the United States–that is, hereditary chattel slavery–then the answer is a clear no. As historian and public librarian Liam Hogan writes in a paper titled “The Myth of ‘Irish Slaves’ in the Colonies,” “Persons from Ireland have been held in various forms of human bondage throughout history, but they have never been chattel slaves in the West Indies.” Nor is there any evidence of Irish chattel slavery in the North American colonies. There were a large number of Irish indentured servants, and there were cases in which Irish men and women were sentenced to indentured servitude in the “new world” and forcibly shipped across the Atlantic. But even involuntary laborers had more autonomy than enslaved Africans, and the large majority of Irish indentured servants came here voluntarily.

            Which raises a question: Where did the myth of Irish slavery come from? A few places. The term “white slaves” emerged in the 17th and 18th centuries, first as a derogatory term for Irish laborers–equating their social position to that of slaves–later as political rhetoric in Ireland itself, and later still as Southern pro-slavery propaganda against an industrialized North. More recently, Hogan notes, several sources have conflated indentured servitude with chattel slavery in order to argue for a particular Irish disadvantage in the Americas, when compared to other white immigrant groups. Hogan cites several writers–Sean O’Callaghan in To Hell or Barbados and Don Jordan and Michael Walsh in White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain’s White Slaves in America–who exaggerate poor treatment of Irish indentured servants and intentionally conflate their status with African slaves. Neither of the authors “bother to inform the reader, in a coherent manner, what the differences are between chattel slavery and indentured servitude or forced labor,” writes Hogan.

            By Jamelle Bouie and Rebecca Onion

          3. Ron you summed it up, “here’s my reply.” That’s all Hogan did, reply. During the time of slave trade Ireland’s population was decimated by 66%. If you applied that population to blacks in Africa it would amount to 99 million. You can use words like slave or indenture but so-called 10000 indentured servitude doesn’t add up. Slavery is a black thing in America and people aim to try to keep it that way. Just like people wanted to keep slavery in America. People like you will have point your finger at the outcome not the skin color. Just sayin’. If you accept white slavery in America who are you to point your finger at in almost all your posts?

          4. Almost, maybe all your posts. Where do you stand on the 10% whites affected by the current BPS?

          1. Identity and skin color protection.

            PS How would people know about the white Irish slavery if it’s not taught in schools or in the history books?

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