Preceding Thursday’s larger rally set for the State Capitol, about a dozen Bridgeport parents gathered in City Hall Park in Bridgeport on Monday, demanding that state legislators restore funding for new charter school seats.
As reported earlier, the General Assembly’s Appropriations Committee advanced a biennial budget plan last week that eliminated $20.9 million in funding originally allocated in Gov. Malloy’s budget for charter schools.
If this proposal is approved, Capital Prep Harbor School in Bridgeport and Stamford Charter School of Excellence in Stamford – schools approved by the State Board of Education last spring – would be defunded. The plan would also cut funding for schools that had been approved to expand existing grades.
“Our children can’t afford another year on a waiting list, “ said Bridgeport resident Davena Allard. “But if we lose the Capital Prep Harbor School, that’s exactly what hundreds of our children will get.”
According to data compiled by the Coalition For Every Child, the organizers of this week’s rallies in Bridgeport and Hartford, over 860 seats would be defunded, including more than 250 seats in Bridgeport.
“More than 10,000 of the children attending one of the struggling schools throughout the state live in Bridgeport – that’s a quarter of the students statewide,” said Edna M. Berrios, a Bridgeport resident whose daughter has been waitlisted.
“If we don’t allow existing charters to add seats, none of the kids who want to attend a high performing charter school will get their chance.”
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