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Michelle Bernard, Kelly Williams-Bolar, Michell Rhee Join CT Education Rally

HARTFORD — Connecticut has one of the highest achievement gaps in the country between low-income and affluent students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This is unacceptable.

To raise awareness and get parents involved, the Connecticut Parents Union and the Bernard Center for Women, Politics and Public Policy have teamed up to host a community discussion followed by an education reform rally at the State Capitol on March 14.

In attendance will be Gwen Samuel, founder of the Connecticut Parents Union; Michelle D. Bernard, Founder and CEO of the Bernard Center for Women, Politics and  Public Policy; Michelle Rhee, founder and CEO of Students First; Kelley Williams-Bolar, Ohio parent; and more.

Community discussion and forum on education reform issues with a rally at the State Capitol to will start at noon. The rally will be from 3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.

The Community Discussion and Forum will be at Grace Lutheran Church, 46 Woodland Street in Hartford,  and the Rally will be at the  State Capitol, North Side.

“Connecticut mothers are being arrested for enrolling their children in better school districts,” said Gwen Samuel, President of the Connecticut Parents Union. “How can we let this be okay ? We must fight for the educational future of our children, not punishing parents for trying to do what’s best for their kids.”

“The prosecution of mothers across the country for what has been called ‘stealing an education’ is immoral and the laws these prosecutions are based on, unjust,” added Michelle D. Bernard, founder and CEO of the Bernard Center for Women, Politics and Public Policy. “Many low income parents across the country have been reduced to misrepresenting where they live in order to provide their children with the educational opportunities that children in high-income areas enjoy.

Prosecuting mothers whose children have been relegated to low performing schools is a travesty of justice.”

“Connecticut has demonstrated that quality education is possible, but it has also demonstrated for years that not everyone has the same access to that education,” she continued. “The time has come for the all states to give all children, regardless of zip code, access to an equal and excellent education. ”

Kelley Williams-Bolar was one of four known cases since 2010 to be arrested for “stealing and education.”  The Ohio mother who served 9 days in jail for falsifying documents for enrolling her children in the school district in which her father lived over safety concerns, will join Michelle Bernard and Samuel to speak at the rally.

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