Bridgeport is often at the center of debate over publicly funded charter schools that run independent of traditional neighborhood schools. Opponents to charter schools argue they siphon funds from education districts. Statement from Jennifer Alexander, chief executive officer of pro-charter school organization ConnCAN:
Today (Friday), the Connecticut General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Education proceeded with Senate Bill 1096 to update our state’s charter law, but decidedly rejected language that would have imposed a two-year moratorium on the opening of charter schools in the state. In response to the Committee’s decision, ConnCAN CEO Jennifer Alexander offered the following statement:
“We are pleased that the Education Committee heard the cries of families around the state and decided to reject the two-year moratorium on charter schools that would have been devastating to so many of our most vulnerable communities. This revised bill will update Connecticut’s out-dated charter law and help ensure that Connecticut’s children will have a chance to receive the quality options they want and deserve.
“ConnCAN will continue efforts to ensure that high-quality public schools of all kinds are available for every child in the state. That goal will only be attained if Connecticut continues to invest in supporting and replicating the success students are having in high-quality, public options like charters schools.
“The rejection of the moratorium language will ensure that the nearly 4,000 students on charter school waiting lists may soon have access to high-quality alternatives in their communities. The decision will also allow the two charter schools that have been approved, but not yet funded, to have an opportunity to open their doors and provide results to children and families who demand options. It is now up to our state leaders to ensure that the state budget gives children and families that opportunity, as proposed by the Governor.
“Though Senate Bill 1096 includes needed steps towards updating our law by improving accountability for charter schools, our state’s leaders must also modernize the way we fund schools to provide sustainable and equitable funding for all our public schools. Connecticut remains an outlier among all other states in how we fund schools of choice. We need to equitably fund students across all schools and spend our limited dollars in ways that will deliver results for students.”