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School Board Member Kadisha Coates Pushes Charter Schools–At Expense Of District Students?

February 17th, 2015 · 18 Comments · Analysis and Comment, Education, News and Events

UPDATE includes statement from charter school group: Maintaining kids need more choices, Board of Education member Kadisha Coates recently appeared on the Connecticut Fox News program The Real Story pushing for more charter schools that opponents argue steal funds from needy district schools. Charters receive state funds but operate independently from traditional public schools. It raises a question, where should her loyalties be?

A bill has been submitted in the Connecticut legislature to place a moratorium on charter schools.

According to former Board of Education member Maria Pereira, an opponent of charter schools, the state provides each charter school $11,500 per child and provides each Bridgeport public school student with $8,600.

Seems that Coates, according to what she declares during the interview, needs some coaching on funding sources for charter schools.

This video was also featured on the Facebook feed of Families for Excellent Schools, the pro-charter school organization based in New York City with ties to Wall Street funders. FES has identified Kadisha Coates as one on their “parent leaders.”

Michael Shulansky, Deputy Communications Director  for Connecticut Northeast Charter Schools Network, shared the following:
According to state law, public charter schools receive $11,000 per-child from the state for the 2014-2015 school year. That total is all the funding charters receive — they don’t get both state and local funds like district schools. According to U.S. Census data, on average, Connecticut school districts spend $16,274 per-child. That’s over $5,000 more than our state’s public charter schools have to support their students.
Still, there are thousands of children on waiting lists for charter schools across the state, because charters are providing the great education all students deserve. Parents in Bridgeport deserve the opportunity to choose the school that’s the best fit for their child. That means giving them access to options like public charter schools.
Sources:
Per-pupil funding: Connecticut State Department of Education. “Biennial Report on the Operation of Charter Schools in Connecticut.” 2014. Hyperlink:http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/equity/charter/report_on_the_operation_of_charter_schools.pdf.
Statewide per-pupil average funding: U.S. Census Bureau. “Public Education Finances: 2012.” May 2014. Hyperlink: http://www2.census.gov/govs/school/12f33pub.pdf.
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18 Comments so far ↓

  • Quentin Dreher

    Parents deserve the ability to make the best choices for their children. Whatever that choice may be.

    • Bob Walsh

      Quentin, my parents would have chosen Yale for as long as they only had to pay what UCONN would have cost back in the ’70s. Is that how it should work???

  • Maria Pereira

    Quentin Dreher, parents have a right to choice, but not on the taxpayers’ dime. There are currently six states where the FBI is conducting investigations on charter schools, including CT. Can you tell me how many true public schools are being investigated by the FBI in the U.S.?

    Thanks for giving me something to work with in the upcoming election in the 123rd to help Ed Gomes defeat you.

  • Maria Pereira

    Kadisha Coates is the perfect individual to advocate for charter schools. When you watch this video, you can see when she is asked to explain the difference between true public schools and charter schools, she simply can’t.

    Her statement on funding is completely false. She is stumbling, uninformed, scattered and unfocused while speaking.

    This would explain why at a recent BBOE meeting where a vote was being taken, instead of say yeah, nay or abstaining, she instead said “here.” I am not kidding.

  • Maria Pereira

    This parent is not knowledgeable either. She references her child was not on reading level in the first grade, therefore she enrolled her child in Achievement First. She goes on to state her child was held back and her child quickly got “back” to a second grade reading level after a year at Achievement First. What???

    The student discusses how classroom sizes are smaller in her charter school. If the Bridgeport Public Schools were properly funded, we could do the exact same thing, however charter schools have received a 20% increase in funding under Malloy while true public schools have received a 2% increase under Malloy, and then they siphon millions away from our already severely underfunded BPS each year.

  • Pete Spain

    This is completely inappropriate for a sitting member of the Board of Education to be actively advocating for charter schools … and on broadcast TV no less.

    A special note of disgust to Dave Hennessey for making the political deal that led to Ms. Coates being selected for the Board of Ed … as part of his becoming chairperson of the BOE. Dave, I hope you’re enjoying your close association with her and Moales.

    And Joe Larcheveque, what are you doing showing up at the faith-based nonsense at the B-Hive in your official capacity as a Board of Ed member? And how come you cast one of the 5 votes on the BOE that approved guaranteeing Andres Ayala his BOE job or equiv. position with same pay four years from now? Not even Dave Hennessey voted for that. That’s not very Republican, Joe.

  • Quentin Dreher

    Maria, aren’t those parents also paying taxes? Should they be forced to send their children to a failing school or should they have a choice?

    • Maria Pereira

      Please share the number of parents with children enrolled in charter schools located in Bridgeport who pay $11,500 in state taxes per child. The best performing schools in Bridgeport are BPS magnet schools. There isn’t a single charter school that performs better than our magnet schools. You must compare magnet and charter because both require a lottery to enter and neither are neighborhood schools.

      • observer

        Seats in magnet schools are limited. If you have tried and failed repeatedly to get your child into a magnet school, what do you do while you wait for the system to change? Even if you’re among those fighting for change. Do you allow your child to stay in a bad school where there is constant disruptive behavior and no rigor or do you do what’s right for your child and take the better option.

        • Maria Pereira

          observer, what is a “bad” school? Which of our BPS has “constant” disruptive behavior and no “rigor.” What is right, is our true public schools should be fully funded and every single child is given the education they so richly deserve.

          Privatizing our public schools so white wealthy men become wealthier doesn’t help children, it helps the white wealthy men.

          I graduated from Harding High School and the only Portuguese students in the entire school were me and my siblings. The school was mostly made up of Hispanic, Black, Cambodian, Laotian, etc. students. My best friend in high school just started her own law firm in Las Vegas, I have a friend who is a doctor, a principal, etc. There are many wonderful things happening in the BPS, too.

      • Ron Mackey

        Maria Pereira, you make a great point when you said, “The best performing schools in Bridgeport are BPS magnet schools. There isn’t a single charter school that performs better than our magnet schools,” this where the confusion comes into play with a lot of parents, they think “magnet school” and “charter school” are the same.

  • Quentin Dreher

    Sounds like we’re putting special interests ahead of our children!

    • Maria Pereira

      I’m sorry, what “special interests” do I represent? I am passionate about the almost 22,000 BPS students whose education is severely underfunded while there seems to be plenty of money for charter schools that pocket millions in management fees, rent, professional development, etc. You referenced “our” children. Do you have children in the BPS currently or previously?

  • Ron Mackey

    Kadisha Coates, OMG!!! Terrible, she is just terrible, it’s obvious Hennessey, Larcheveque, Moales and Coates must go.

  • Donald Day

    Every teacher on the BBOE should avail themselves of the Ayala rule that says you can leave your job, go to work in the private sector or for another entity and still get your job back with the same pay four years from now. Does he get any subsequent raises the teachers who stayed get? What a deal if you can get it. Does one have to be a Finchette to avail themselves of this deal? Maria, what say you?

  • Maria Pereira

    I was there and I witnessed the vote. Baker, Larcheveque, Moales, Illingworth and Koates voted for it. Who gets to go work for another employer for four years and then can come back to the BBOE if Malloy loses his next election?

  • Maria Pereira

    Linda Lambeck is reporting Governor Malloy’s proposed new budget includes the following:

    TRADITIONAL PUBLIC SCHOOLS–WILL NOT RECEIVE ONE EXTRA DOLLAR IN ECS OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS

    Magnet Schools–An additional $36 million for 2015/2016

    New Charter Schools–$12 million in 2015/2016 which includes Dr. Perry’s new charter school in Bridgeport

    Existing Charter Schools–An additional $7.9 million to expand in 2015/2016 and an additional $2 million to grow in 2016/2017

    Malloy is an absolutely disgusting individual. This is exactly why we need Ed Gomes. Moales and DeJesus will support this outrageous education budget 100%.

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