BREAKING NEWS – Capital Prep Steve Perry – Above the law and deserves it all

As Wait, What? readers know, while employed as a full-time employee of the Hartford Board of Education, Capital Prep Magnet School Principal Steve Perry has been engaged in an on-going effort to build a lucrative charter school chain using the name Capital Preparatory Schools, Inc. and materials he and his senior staff developed while being paid with taxpayer funds by the City of Hartford.

Perry’s proposal is to open a chain of privately run, publically funded charter schools starting with a school in Bridgeport, Connecticut and one in Harlem, New York.

The proposals for both schools openly admitted that the plans were based on Capital Prep Magnet School in Hartford, that the materials used will be the same as those used at Capital Prep Magnet School and the management team that will run the Bridgeport and Harlem charter schools will be the same group of senior administrators and teachers that are presently running Capital Prep Magnet School in Hartford.

The proposals even included many of the written materials that can be found on Capital Prep Magnet School’s present website.

But of course, Steve Perry and his team know perfectly well that such a move is blatantly illegal.

The law is very clear, materials and concepts developed by public employees during the course of their work belong to their employer – the government that pays them and its citizens.

Steve Perry and his employees know the law because it is clearly defined in the written policies of the Hartford Board of Education which states,

Materials created by staff at the instigation and/or direction of superiors and/or during work-time shall be considered “work made for hire” under Sections 201(b) and 101 of the Copyright Act and shall be solely the property of the school district.

It is also understood that educational materials created by an employee during the employee’s leisure hours when the employee is not fulfilling his/her contractual duties to the school district are the property of the employee

But those laws haven’t stopped Steve Perry or the government officials who are supporting his effort to achieve financial success.

With the support of Governor Malloy’s Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor, the State Board of Education approved Perry’s plan to open a charter school in Bridgeport next fall.  The plan includes the fact that Perry’s private charter school company would start collecting a multi-million dollar “management fee.”

The State Board of Education approved Perry’s plan despite the fact that there is no money in the budget for any more privately run, but publically funded charter schools and the state of Connecticut is facing a massive deficit.

Last Friday, the pro-charter New York Board of Regents also approved a proposal allowing Steve Perry and his Capital Preparatory Schools, Inc. to open a charter school in Harlem next fall.

Neither the Connecticut State Board of Education nor the New York Board of Regents took note of the fact that Perry did not have the legal authority to use the materials or concepts outlined in his proposals.  According to that plan, Perry will collect a $2.5 million management fee per year, for the first five years.

While the initial issue is why officials are allowing Perry to break the law and steal materials and concepts that belong to the people of Hartford (it is called plagiarism), the second key question relates to how Perry’s ploy to open his charter school management chain would impact his role as head of Capital Prep Magnet School.

When the Connecticut State Board of Education was considering Perry plan to use his private company to open a charter school in Bridgeport, Perry said that he would be able to take on the task of opening and running a new school because he would be leaving Hartford.

However, in his proposal to open a charter school New York City, Perry told the New York Board of Regents that that he already owned the Hartford public school in which he work and revealed that his corporate business plan included making money from Hartford’s public school, as well as the yet to be opened Bridgeport charter school in the years to come.

Perry’s application explained:

“Surpluses are projected in each year beginning in 2015.   The annual ending cash balance per year for CPS will be just over $500,000 in management fees collected.  Conservative five- year estimates have our year end cash balance at $2 million by year five between Hartford, Bridgeport and our Harlem 6 to 12 school.”

For details about Perry’s New York charter school plan read the Wait, What? article entitled, “Steve Perry’s plan – Turn Hartford’s Capital Prep into a charter, open charters in Bridgeport and New York

So is Steve Perry leaving Hartford Prep as he told the Connecticut State Board of Education or is he going to own Hartford Prep as he reported to the New York Board of Regents

Well now the truth is finally coming out…

Despite telling Connecticut state officials that he’d be giving up his role at Hartford’s Capital Prep Magnet School, Perry’s plan appears to be that he will take over private control of Hartford’s public Capital Prep Magnet School

In a letter this week to parents, Steve Perry said that he intends to keep full control of Hartford Capital Prep, apparently by convincing the Hartford Board of Education to allow him to turn it into a charter school or allow his private charter school company to run the school.

Perry told parents to join him at a meeting on Monday, November 24, 6pm in the Sheff Center to continue the discussion about the future of Capital Prep.  He reported that, “joining us will be Jonathan Shaw and Oliver Barton who will meet with us on behalf of the Superintendent.”

At the same time, Perry wrote the following letter to parents,

From Dr. Perry:

Capital Prep is not going anywhere. We are simply expanding to two other cities. Neither students nor staff need to look for a new school, at all!

I have offered to continue to lead Capital Prep as we expand. We would oversee the daily operations, as we always have, as Capital Prep expands to Bridgeport and Harlem. The cost to Hartford for us, the founders of Capital Prep, to continue to operate our school would be $1.

Yes, for $1 our non profit has proposed to keep our school’s founders together but Hartford’s new superintendent Dr. Beth Narvaez and school board are not supporting our efforts to continue to run the school that we have made into one of the most successful in America. Their expectation is that at the end of this school year we walk away. At which time they will take responsibility for operating Capital Prep, starting with selecting a new principal.

Our parents, faculty and students have overwhelmingly supported our plan for continuity and expansion for years. Other Hartford schools have selected who and how their school will be operated. Yet the new superintendent, Dr. Beth Narvaez, and the board are saying Capital Prep will be treated differently. When we go to expand, they intend to take over our school.

The issue, therefore, is not if there will be a Capital Prep. It is who will run it? Either we, the family who have been doing so for over 10 years or they, the new superintendent and board. The question is not, should you look for a new school? The question is would you rather keep our family of educators together as we grow to include more children or would you rather be operated by Hartford Public Schools?

We are, and always will be, Capital Prep.

With deepest love,

Dr. Steve Perry

As far as Perry’s plan is concerned, the only possible hindrance would be if Connecticut Governor Malloy, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, the Connecticut Board of Education, the Hartford Board of Education, Connecticut’s Attorney General, Connecticut’s State Auditors or Connecticut’s Chief State’s Attorney decided to actually do their job and put an end to Perry’s outrageous game.

Of course, if they do… watch out…

Remember, Perry is the who, when he didn’t get his way last year, Tweeted,

  Dr. Steve Perry‏@DrStevePerry
“The only way to lose a fight is to stop fighting. All this did was piss me off. It’s so on. Strap up, there will be head injuries.


But of course, at the time, officials looked the other way and Perry got away with a Tweet that would have escorted any other school administrator, teacher or student to the door and into the hands of awaiting police officers.

  • You’ve got to catch it in today’s Mirror. The cheering section for the pro-charter Op Ed is a dude from Edison Schools. You can’t make this stuff up!

  • Michael Fryar

    Wonder if the fact that Perry’s provisional administrative license is up in May of 2015 and he can’t renew since he has no classroom experience or degree work in education has anything to do with the deadline?

    • Ebony in Hartford

      How did he get his license in the first place with no teaching experience?

      • Michael Fryar

        An interesting question – especially given that an Asst. Principal at Hall High School had to resign because she did not have enough experience (article below).

        I FOI’d Hartford on the issue and they said they have nothing to do with certification. So someone at the state level issued Perry his intial administration certification without his having appropriate credentials – either coursework or teaching experience.

        it was whispered in my ear that he promised up, right, left and down that he would take courses and teach a class at the school to make up for the lack. Like with most promises Perry makes, it was hollow and he has never lived up to it.

        So he can’t get his credentials renewed in May. He’ll have no choice BUT to step down at the end of the year – unless Hartford hands him the school and it becomes a Magnet since you don’t need to be a credentialed teacher or administrator to work at one.

      • Michael Fryar

        If I were Kimberlee Henry I’d be calling an attorney and thinking about my options right about now…

      • Guest

        We know that exceptions are always made for certain people and not for others.

  • Striking

    Perry is a money grubbing opportunist. He can kiss my overtaxed arse…if this goes through, maybe he should strap on a helmet…

  • Bluecoat

    Meanwhile in Public Schools across the country,
    Time and time again on a daily basis we can find stories about these kind of perverted ideas in our schools today
    And all the teachers who are complaining about charter schools say nothing, don’t plan walkouts, and don’t tell parents about theses things
    When will the teaching community grow up and stop the abuse of young innocent kids and stop this crap?
    If this was the Cathloic Church letting these seminars and questionnaires in our classrooms, it woul be front page news every day.

    • Guest

      I went to your link. This was not a conference held at a public school or by a public school so what is your point?

  • guest

    There is at least one piece of information wrong in this article (actually more than one, but it’s too much work to address them all in a comment. ). There is a lot of negative true stuff to say about Steve Perry. Don’t invalidate good criticisms with misinformation.

    For example, Dr. Perry did not invite parents (and staff) to a meeting on Monday. The PTO did.

    • jonpelto

      Okay, thanks for the correct information. Did Mr. Perry write the letter? Did Mr. Perry put together the application for Bridgeport using materials developed at capital prep? Did Mr. Perry develop the application using information developed a capital prep? Is the management team for Mr. Perry’s private company going to be himself and his assistant principal? Are nine of the 10 founding members of the switchboard and New York charter schools employees of capital prep?
      I know there are many readers that are interested in how Mr. Perry and his staff are able to be full-time employees of the public-school what working to open to private schools.
      Can you shed light on any of those issues as well as on Monday nights meeting?
      Apologies for the typos…

    • Guest

      Perry instructs the PTO on what to do….nice try though.

    • Guest

      At his encouraging, no doubt.

  • Michael Fryar

    Has a copy of this been sent to the new superintendent?

    • jonpelto

      Yes and then some, the Board of Education and is being used as part of the background for complaints being file with various officials and agencies. Anyone with additional material to include in complaints is requested to send them along as soon as possible

      • Michael Fryar

        It’s just that the State ended the career of one administrator while allowing another to continue on. In the least she the Kimberlee Henry should be notified of the “Perry” exception and she might be able to get her job back. Or seek legal counsel for advice on why she has to follow a rule and he is exempted.

      • Kris Schmolze

        Please let me know how I can help? There’s so much more…

    • Guest Again

      Representatives of the superintendent will be at the meeting according to the PTO.

      • Michael Fryar

        And there’s the answer – despite all the information and material they’ve decided it’s easier to just give him the schools than deal with the public fallout of firing him or ending the contract and having to answer a lot of questions.

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  • Linda Johnson

    To me, Perry is the stereotype of the hustler or con man.