With the Connecticut General Assembly’s 2015 Legislative Session coming to an end, it was only a matter of time before Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy was forced to show his hand in the debate about the next state budget.
The candidate who falsely claimed that the state budget was balanced and that, if re-elected, he wouldn’t make cuts to social services or raise taxes is now instructing his Democratic colleagues in the State Senate and State House of Representatives that not only must they make historic cuts to vital health and human services, while raising tax on the middle class, but that he will only accept a budget that includes funding for two new charter schools while the new budget cuts funding for the state’s public schools.
In a blockbuster breaking news story written by the CTMirror’s Jacqueline Rabe and Keith Phaneuf, the reporters reveal what has really been going on behind closed doors in the all-night budget negotiations that have been taking place between Malloy and Democratic legislative leaders.
In a news article entitled, Could Malloy’s push to fund charter schools jeopardize budget approval?, the CT Mirror reports,
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s insistence on increasing funding for charter schools has more than a dozen Democratic legislators questioning whether they can support the next state budget if it means their neighborhood public schools are flat-funded or cut.
On Wednesday, a dozen House Democrats met with Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, to share their concerns with the Democratic governor’s determination to spend $4.6 million in the upcoming fiscal year to open a new charter school in Bridgeport and another in Stamford
A group of Democratic senators also met with their leadership this week to share similar concerns.
The CT Mirror goes on to explain,
Malloy met twice with Democratic legislative leaders overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, and sources said the governor indicated he would not accept anything less than the funding level he proposed for charter schools.
The governor has been a major proponent of expanding charter school enrollment. His budget proposes expanding enrollment in existing and new charter schools by 1,446 students next school year, a move that would cost the state $15.9 million. His budget cuts millions in funding the state currently provides the state’s lowest-performing neighborhood schools.
Earlier this month, he rallied with charter school advocates at the Capitol.
“Let me be very clear, we also have to understand that we are going to have charter schools in Connecticut,” Malloy said during the rally.
Democrat Malloy, along with Democrats New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel have become the poster boys for the anti-union, anti-teacher, anti-public school corporate education reform industry and their unprecedented effort to privatize public education in the United States.
In 2012 Malloy rolled out his “education reform” initiative becoming the first Democratic governor in history to call for eliminating teacher tenure for all public school teachers and unilaterally repealing collective bargaining rights for teachers in the state’s poorest schools.
Corporate Education Reform Industry advocacy groups have since pumped more than $7.5 million into their record breaking lobbying campaign in support of Malloy’s efforts to denigrate teachers, radically reduce local control of education and turn the state’s public schools into little more than Common Core testing factories.
When presenting his proposed state budget earlier this year, Malloy called for record cuts to Connecticut’s public schools while demanding that Connecticut’s legislators divert scarce public funds so that Malloy’s charter school allies could open two more charter schools in the state.
Under Malloy’s plan, Steve Perry, the infamous opponent of teacher unions, is slated to get funding for his privately owned but publicly funded charter school in Bridgeport.
The Governor’s plan also calls for funding a charter school company from the Bronx that says it will save Stamford, Connecticut by opening a sister school there.
In both cases, the local Boards of Education voted against the charter school proposals and testified in opposition to the charter schools before the State Board of Education and the General Assembly’s Education Committee.
The governor and his administration have refused to take the local opposition into consideration.
But in a humorous end note, the CT Mirror story quotes an executive from one of the corporate funded charter advocacy groups who says,
Charter advocates are glad the governor is being so persistent.
“We’re grateful that the majority of legislators are bucking the special interests and listening to the pleas of parents who want a great school for their children,” said Kara Neidhardt, a spokesperson for Families for Excellent Schools, a charter advocacy group.
Families for Excellent Schools not only bused in parents from New York and Boston for the Hartford pro-charter school rally at which Malloy spoke a few weeks ago but the group is running millions of dollars in television ads in New York in support of NY Governor Cuomo’s plan to use more than $150 million in tax credits to subsidize students attending religious schools in New York.
The MUST READ CT Mirror story can be found here: http://ctmirror.org/2015/05/29/could-malloys-push-to-fund-charter-schools-jeopardize-budget-approval/
You can read a recent Wait, What? blog about Steve Perry’s charter school plans here: Charter School Mogul Steve Perry owns it all – even without legislative approval
And be sure to check back as this breaking story develops.