Malloy misleads teachers, parents, public school advocates and taxpayers – again!


Malloy misleads teachers, parents, public school advocates and taxpayers – again!

Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy and his Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor, just issued a press release that began with the following:

HARTFORD, CT) — Governor Dannel P. Malloy, joined by Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor, today hat Alliance Districts are set to receive a total of $132,901,813 in additional funding for the 2014-15 academic year to help implement academic improvement plans.  To date, 28 of 30 Alliance District Year Three plan amendments have been approved, with the final approvals expected in the coming weeks.

In typical fashion, the Governor and Commissioner of Education have used their announcement as a way to further mislead Connecticut’s teachers, parents, public school advocates and taxpayers.

Malloy claims that his “initiative” is providing Connecticut’s 30 most struggling school districts with another $132 million in state aid, but the truth is that this year’s increase is only about $45 million and that in order to get those funds, school districts were required to accept a series of new mandates and programs aimed at further implementing Malloy’s corporate education reform agenda and diverting scarce public dollars to private companies.

For example, some of the new money is being used to pay for pet projects such as Achievement First, Inc.’s “Residency Program for School Leadership.”

As Connecticut has come to know, Achievement First, Inc. is the charter school management company co-founded by Malloy’s Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor.

And thanks to Malloy and Pryor, Achievement First, Inc. has received more new funding than any other charter school operator in Connecticut.

While most school districts in Connecticut have effectively been flat funded, Achievement First, Inc. has benefited from a massive increase in per pupil funding, more charter school seats, and additional resources from various grants that were once reserved for Connecticut’s real public schools.

And if that windfall wasn’t enough, hidden inside this so-called “new” money for Connecticut’s poorer school districts is yet another special deal for Achievement First, Inc.

Note that in today’s press release, Malloy and Stefan Pryor brag about how 28 or the 30 “Alliance District Year Three Plans” have been approved.

What Malloy and Pryor don’t explain is that in order to get approved, towns were required to include certain education reform initiatives, including forcing Connecticut’s largest school districts to participate in Achievement First, Inc.’s “Residency Program for School Leadership.

As part of the program, Connecticut taxpayers will not only pay Achievement First, Inc., for their “services,” but Connecticut school teachers, paid for by Connecticut taxpayer funds, will be sent to teach in Achievement First schools.  This means that in addition to paying the charter school chain $11,500 per student, paying for all of their transportation costs and all of their special education costs, Achievement First, Inc. will be will be further subsidized thanks to having taxpayer-funded public school teachers working in their privately-run charter schools.

Achievement First, Inc. calls their “Residency Program” a “unique opportunity.”

There is no doubt about that, it is a unique opportunity for Achievement First to get more of our public funds.

When more and more questions are being raised about the lack of oversight of Connecticut’s charter schools, Governor Malloy and Commissioner Pryor are diverting record amounts of public money to charter schools.

While Malloy claims he is investing another $132 million into Connecticut’s poorest schools, the truth is that Connecticut taxpayers are being forced to waste even more money on Malloy’s failed education reform policies.

All this while our public school students continue to be left without the support they need and deserve.

Paid for by Pelto 2014, Ted Strelez, Treasurer, Christine Ladd, Deputy Treasurer, Approved by Jonathan Pelto

  • alexander bean

    Soon, he will announce his latest intuitive which will no longer require teachers to even “show up” to be granted tenure. Followed by another edict which states that teacher’s union dues will now be paid out of his “petty cash” account. (To date, that only applies to the AFT – we’ll see how the CEA’s endorsement susses out)

  • buygoldandprosper

    To quote Danny Malloy:

    “I believe that we’re going to be in a position to not only do the things that we’ve already committed to do…but do more,” said the governor.”

    • And the budget? More Malloy Math in action with his sock puppet Ben Barnes spewing all sorts of misinformation.
      Random musing…both Dan and Ben placed their wives in jobs that both were not qualified for. Do you think they will get even better jobs with another term? Cathy has been riding Dan’s coattails for many years and Tania should have spent some time in jail for her dealings in Stamford…but hey! This is Corrupticut!

  • Mary Gallucci

    FBI Hotline? Don’t just check Stefan Pryor’s emails to Michael Sharpe and FUSE–check the ones to Achievement First, too. Of course, Achievement First is implicated in a lot of the FUSE growth–thanks to the unique partnerships that Achievement First forms with up-and-coming or here-and-growing charter schools, Achievement First gets to expand beyond the legally-mandated charter school enrollment caps. So, when Achievement First added a High School to its “portfolio” in Hartford, Dacia Toll struck a deal with Jumoke/FUSE to have Jumoke 8th graders automatically accepted into the AF highschool–guaranteed enrollment with families who were already dazzled by the charter school schtick. AF also made a backroom deal to further the Booker T. Washington charter effort, which would garner benefits for AF–not only did Dacia Toll’s husband Jeff Klaus write a letter praising “Dr.” Michael Sharpe as an educator of vision, but Klaus advocated for the Booker T. charter without revealing his connections to AF. AF is now more opening mentoring the Booker T. charter–AF hardly needs to bother with the sometimes burdensome details of another day-to-day charter school operation–now they sell or rent their services to all kinds of new ventures.

    • Mary Gallucci

      Don’t forget the Charter Graduate School of Education–on whose Board of Trustees, Dacia Toll sits–there will doubtless be plenty of Alliance district money and Commissioner’s Network dollars going to put principals through this charter-graduate school of “leadership”. There are already lucrative partnerships with NOLA (of course!), Chicago, NY…. CT has some small representation already. Scroll down for the BoT. Maybe this will be Pryor’s new job? CEO of a virtual charter university?

  • Mary Gallucci

    I don’t think Foley will mislead teachers. For one thing, he doesn’t know what is going on in the state, so what he says today may change tomorrow. And how much damage could Foley do? Republican governors, like Michigan’s Rick Snyder, can’t sign “right-to-work” legislation fast enough:
    Foley didn’t mislead workers in Sprague when he said, it’s your own damn fault you lost your jobs–he told them what he, a “businessman,” believed. And now we find out that Foley’s running mate, Somers, has taken advantage of economic development assistance from the state–even though her venture (based in Willimantic, who knew!) did not “create” the jobs she promised; it did create a lot of wealth for her:
    Note that she says some of the tough economic decisions she made were to keep the company from moving out of state, to the Southern United States–like Tom Foley’s former company!

    • sharewhut

      Mary, Foley’s ‘failed’ comments were directed at the union leader and Senator/Selectman Osten attempting to ambush him, not the workers themselves. And THEY failed the workers. Especially Ms. Osten with her claim that she was blindsided just like everyone else, while berating Foley for not being there earlier reaching out to do something to help the workers.
      Your attempted maligning of Ms. Somers company is pretty well shot down in your second link, further in this one as well as the commentary section on the first link.

      The State did not grant or loan the company money, it invested in it (bought a share of the company for $500k- it also bought into the semiconductor company that failed with all losing). Of that $500k the state got back $485k, plus $10k penalty for not creatind the promised number of jobs (only 40 or so of the 100, remainder attributable in large part to the semi conductor failure). Plus sales taxes and gov’t fees on the sale.
      Even if you lump in the $500k for the failed division, the state invested net of $505k to provide 40+ jobs that have been maintained for @15 years. Works out to less than $13k/job (total, not per year). Think those workers have made up for that in income taxes, or the company covered it in sales and business fees corporate and taxes? Or provided that much in trickle down to the local economy over those years? Not a bad return on investment, huh? And that’s the type of state support she’s championing, not giving hundreds of millions in borrowed money to billion dollar companies to move 15 miles down the road with the promise to maintain current workforce at a price tag of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars per job.

  • Bluecoat

    Hmmm, not trying to buy votes here, move along, nothing to see here…

  • Regular Guy

    Oh, how depressing. Unbelievable. Conflict of interest, anyone?

  • sharewhut

    4 Words,
    Special Master Stephan Pryor