By Fran Wilson, Staff Writer
HARTFORD — Nearly 40, 000 Connecticut children attend under performing schools and many of them can’t read or do math at grade level, charter school advocates said this week while touting the number of people signed a petition demanding support for charter schools.
The Coalition For Every Child on Wednesday announced that 3,782 people have signed on to a petition to state leaders demanding that they support a great school for every child. The petition will remain open to collect more signatures until the end of the legislative session.
“Right now, there are 40,000 Connecticut children who attend under performing schools where the majority of students cannot read and do math at grade level,” the petition reads. “Most of them are low-income students or children of color. This is unacceptable. All children deserve the opportunity to get a great education, and they need it now. Connecticut needs expanded access to high-quality public schools for all children.”
Advocates said that the solution for under performing schools is to “continue to open high-performing public schools, fund all public schools equitably, and hold all schools accountable for results while also protecting the flexibility of individual schools to effectively serve the needs of all students, regardless of race, economic status or zip code.”
The announcement comes after 1,500 people from across the state attended a rally on the North Steps of the Capitol to voice their opposition to the Appropriations Committee budget, which proposed cuts for new public charter schools in Bridgeport and Stamford.
Funding for both schools and seats at existing charter schools was previously included in the budget release by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in February.
There are currently more than 3,600 students on wait lists for charter schools in the state. The budget proposed on Tuesday by the Appropriations Committee would do little to, charter schools advocates said.