While some Hartford voters turn their attention to tonight’s Achieve Hartford! “education” debate between Mayor Pedro Segarra and Luke Bronin, the truth is finally coming out about Bronin and his ties to the charter school industry and their pro-Common Core testing, pro-charter school, anti- teacher and anti-public school agenda.
As anyone who has been watching the mayoral campaign in Hartford knows, Luke Bronin has been attacking Mayor Pedro Segarra for not getting more education funding from Governor Malloy for Hartford’s public schools.
However, what has remained relatively secret is that Bronin’s PR person is a well-paid adviser for Families for Excellent Schools, the New York based charter school industry group that spent more than $1 million lobbying Connecticut legislators on behalf of Governor Malloy’s proposal to divert millions of dollars in scarce state funds so that Bridgeport and Stamford could get new, privately owned, but publicly funded charter schools —- one of which will make former Capital Prep Principal Steve Perry very rich.
Now, with days to go until Hartford’s Democratic Primary, the truth is finally coming out.
Bronin’s Communications Director, Andrew Doba, who served as Governor Dannel Malloy’s mouthpiece until this past January, is behind an expensive, glossy mass mailing that is being sent to voters across Connecticut to “thank” Connecticut legislators for successfully funding the new charter schools while utterly failing to adequately fund Connecticut public schools, including those in Hartford.
Doba, who is both Bronin’s PR person and the hired gun for the charter school industry has been on Twitter regularly attacking Segarra on Bronin’s behalf.
In one Tweet, Andrew Doba @AndrewDoba wrote;
Will the layoffs of teachers and other staff that’s going to happen because of your budget help Hartford Public Schools? #AskSegarra
In another, Doba, who works for a New York based public relations company said;
With strong push from @GovMalloyOffice, Leg. made the right call in meeting its financial commitment to charter schools
And Doba also retweeted his client’s tweet which cheered;
Thank you to our state leaders who showed a strong commitment to ensuring access to great school #ForEveryChild.
Now, in a mailing that looks surprisingly similar to the glossy campaign pieces Luke Bronin has been sending out to Hartford voters comes a expensive lobbyist-funded brochure telling state legislators that they did a great job when they decided to fund privately owned charter schools… rather than doing what they should have done and provided Hartford and Connecticut’s other cities and towns with the money needed to adequately fund local schools.
The Charter School Industry mailing is going to voters all over Connecticut, including voters in Hartford.
As CT Newsjunkie explains in today’s article entitled, Special Interest Group Sends Mailing To Thank Lawmaker For Charter Funding
State Rep. Brandon McGee, D-Hartford, is being thanked with a glossy mailer from a special interest group that has spent more than $1.1 million this year lobbying lawmakers and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to make sure two new charter schools were included in the state budget.
The mailer was sent to constituents in McGee’s district, which includes the northend of Hartford and parts of Windsor, by Families for Excellent Schools.
“More kids now have access to a quality education, which means more opportunity and a brighter future,” the mailer reads.
It asks constituents to call McGee and thank him for his commitment to Connecticut kids.
It’s unclear still how much money was spent on the mailers because the filings are not due to the Office of State Ethics until the next quarter. It’s also unclear exactly how many other lawmakers may have benefited from the mailers by the pro-charter school group.
“The mailer thanked a number of legislators for their support for great schools for every child,” Kara Neidhardt, a spokeswoman for Families for Excellent Schools, said in an email. “The cost of the entire campaign will be disclosed in the next filing.”
McGee, who works in the Capitol Region Education Council’s school choice office, said Wednesday that he’s not offended by the mailing. He said he supports choice programs and participated in the school choice program when he was a child.
This isn’t the first time a pro-charter school group has expended funds on McGee’s behalf. In 2012, when he first ran for his seat, a school reform group with ties to StudentsFirst, the organization founded by the controversial former chancellor of the Washington school system, poured nearly $32,000 into his race.
The budget approved by the legislature in June included $4.6 million to open two new charter schools in Stamford and Bridgeport. Malloy insisted the two schools remain in the budget despite complaints from some of McGee’s colleagues in Hartford and Bridgeport.
Families for Excellent Schools has lobbied hard this year for increased funding for charter schools. The group spent $1.1 million between January through June. It also hired public relations and political strategy firms that employ former Malloy staffers Andrew Doba and Roy Occhiogrosso.
Families for Excellent Schools held a rally on the New Haven green in December last year and one in May outside the state Capitol in Hartford. At the rally in Hartford, they spent $87,700 on transportation and $14,000 on food for the students and parents who attended.
You can see the complete MUST READ CT Newsjunkie article at: Special Interest Group Sends Mailing To Thank Lawmaker For Charter Funding
And meanwhile, let’s get things straight when it comes to Luke Bronin and his campaign for mayor of Hartford;
Democrat Luke Bronin says it is Democrat Mayor Pedro Segarra’s fault that Democrat Dannel Malloy and the Democrats in the Connecticut General Assembly didn’t give Hartford more education funding. Bronin even blames Segarra for any tax increases that were necessary as a result of the state’s failure to give Hartford the funding it needed. Bronin says he will cut taxes and provide more money for education…
At the same time Luke Bronin says that HE deserves a good chunk of the credit for Malloy’s 2nd chance initiative because has Malloy’s lawyer he was involved in the policy process in the Governor’s Office, but none of the blame for Malloy’s failure to properly fund public schools.
Meanwhile, Luke Bronin’s spokesperson’s New York based company received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the charter school industry for coordinating the lobbying campaign on behalf of the charter schools, a proposal that diverted Connecticut taxpayer money that should have been spent on public schools.
And behind all that is the reality that a number of the key players behind charter schools are among Bronin’s biggest campaign donors… money that is so important to Bronin that he refused to give back those funds and thus lost the endorsement of the Hartford Federation of Teachers.
Yup, Luke Bronin has arrived from Greenwich and is ready to save Hartford….