Connecticut Charter Schools are promoting greater racial segregation using taxpayer funds

As Robert Cotto Jr. writes about the way in which Connecticut charter school companies are pocketing public funds in his latest CTNewjunkie commentary piece entitled, Stunning Charter School take down by Robert Cotto Jr. let’s not forgot that the problems with charter schools goes far beyond greed, waste and fraud.

The REAL TRUTH about Connecticut Charter schools and racial segregation;

Forget the 1954 landmark Supreme Court case of Brown v. Board of Education that ruled that segregation in schools violated the United States Constitution.

Forget the 1996 Connecticut Supreme Court case of Sheff v. O’Neill that ruled that segregation in Connecticut schools violated Connecticut’s Constitution.

Forget that as a result of the Sheff v. O’Neill case, Connecticut taxpayers are spending hundreds of millions of dollars every year to reduce racial isolation in public schools.

The REAL TRUTH is that more than $100 million a year in scarce Connecticut funds are being handed over to charter school companies and that according to the most recent reports filed with the Connecticut State Department of Education (2012-2013), every single major charter school in Connecticut is more racially segregated than the school district they are supposed to serve.

The REAL TRUTH is that while Connecticut spends massive amount of money to fulfill its federal and state constitutional mandate of REDUCING segregation, Connecticut charter schools are using public money to actually INCREASE racial segregation in Connecticut!

Just look at the data about the charter schools in Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport and Stamford.

Using public funds, Connecticut charter schools are creating greater racial isolation – something that is nothing short of illegal and unconstitutional.

HARTFORD % of public school students who are non-white
Hartford School District 89%
Jumoke Academy Charter School 100%
Achievement First Inc. Hartford Charter School 100%


Bridgeport % of public school students who are non-white
Bridgeport School District 91%
Achievement First Inc. Bridgeport Charter School 99%
Bridge Academy Charter School 99%
New Beginnings Academy Charter School 99%


New Haven % of public school students who are non-white
New Haven School District 85%
Achievement First Inc. Amistad Charter School 98%
Achievement First Inc. Elm City Charter School 99%
Highville Charter School 99%




Stamford % of public school students who are non-white
Stamford School District 66%
Stamford Academy Charter School 96%
Trail Blazers Charter School 96%


And now Governor Dannel Malloy and the Connecticut’s charter school industry want to divert even more public money away from Connecticut’s public schools so that they can open up two more charter schools – one in Bridgeport and one in Stamford.

  • jrp1900

    When the privatizers talk of themselves as the inheritors of the Civil Rights struggle they are either being disingenuous, foolish or willfully deceptive. As Jonathan Pelto observes, charter schools are even MORE racially segregated than the racially segregated public schools. This gives the lie to the claim that “school choice” is the “civil rights issue of our time.” A minority child in an impoverished urban community may have the choice to go to this or that “academy” in a school choice model, but he/she will still have no choice but to attend a segregated, racialized school.

    Experience shows that segregated schools are always “racialized” schools–that is to say, such schools are part and parcel of the social construction of “race” (and racism) in American society. It’s obvious that the harsh disciplinary culture of so many charter schools is racialized in nature, insofar as the schools would be reluctant to practice such tyrannies on middle class children from the suburbs. Of course, we will be told that inner city children need such firm discipline, but this is only begging the question, as even in the youngest grades school suspensions and the like are abnormally high in charter schools.

    Historically, the Civil rights struggle in education was all about justice, and it was understood that justice was impossible so long as social equality was denied. That is why it was necessary to confront the doctrine of “separate but equal” because it was understood that “separate,” in practice, meant “unequal.” Now we have the charter school movement returning us to the bad old days of “separate but equal.” But it was true yesterday and it will be true tomorrow that if minority children are being educated in overwhelmingly minority schools this is hard evidence that equality (social, political, educational) is nowhere in sight. American society cannot afford to let the privatizers reduce the substance of justice to the thin gruel of “choice.”

    Desegregated schooling is still a moral imperative. We have work to do…