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Wendy Lecker Gets It Wrong Again on School Funding     

Apparently Wendy Lecker has a new career.

As her latest attack on charter schools featured in the Stamford Advocate demonstrates, she’s not only an attorney and columnist, but also an expert cherry picker.

For starters, I would hope Lecker, as an attorney, is aware that state and federal law dictates that charter schools aren’t only subject to same rules as public schools but are actually held to a much higher standard.

Even more egregious, Lecker wants her readers to believe that charter schools are “funded at higher levels” than traditional public schools – a notion that would be laughable if wasn’t so painfully untrue.

She gets away with this fib by omitting key details about how schools are funded and instead points out that the state’s ECS grant to underserved districts like Bridgeport is smaller than their grant to charter schools.

Her implication is that charter schools are adequately funded, while traditional public schools are not.

Except, no.

In reality, on average, charter schools in Connecticut receive thousands less in public funding than their traditional public schools counterparts, despite largely serving underserved populations of students.

In her editorial she says Bridgeport only receives $9,000 from the state in ECS grant money per student. This is true, however, what she fails to mention is that Bridgeport’s traditional public schools also receive city grants, while charter schools do not.

In fact, according to data provided by the State Department of Education Bureau of Grants Management, Bridgeport’s public schools received about $14,500 per student in taxpayer funding last year, whereas on average Bridgeport charter schools only received $12,500 per student.

Despite this funding inequity, the majority of Bridgeport charter schools – and charter schools in urban area across Connecticut –  manage to outperform their host districts, according to the Northeast Charter School Network.

So what does Lecker suggest? Using recent court cases in Washington, Texas and Arizona as an example, she suggests we defund schools that are succeeding.

 

 

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