A recent article by Wendy Lecker entitled, Beware the new Connecticut legislative plan to channel even more public funds to charters, noted that a group of Democratic state legislators have released a plan aimed at diverting even more scarce public funds to Connecticut’s charter schools will doing little to address the underlying system that inadequately funds Connecticut’s public schools.
Turning their backs on the need for a state-wide school funding adequacy study, Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) and State Representative Jason Rojas (D-East Hartford) have proposed an extraordinary school funding system that would promote a Trump/DeVos like “school choice” program in Connecticut.
Their plan would divert even more taxpayer funds to Connecticut’s charter schools, while taking money away from Connecticut’s successful magnet schools.
As the CT Mirror reported, their plan proposes to have the;
“…state calculate how much each local district spends to educate a student on average and then withhold one-quarter of that amount for each student who leaves for a magnet or charter school. The withheld funding would be sent to the school the child actually attends.
Currently districts do not get funding for students who leave for charter schools. However, districts still get state funding for students who leave for magnet schools, which is somewhat offset by tuition that magnets charge the sending districts.
The changes that Duff and Rojas propose would drive huge funding increases for several charter schools — including about $1,800 more per student for Achievement First Hartford Academy and $1,700 for Stamford Academy…
The network of regional magnet schools opened in the Hartford region in an effort to comply with a Connecticut Supreme Court order to desegregate Hartford schools would be hit hard by the changes, with a loss of $3,569 per student.
The legislators’ plan also fails to properly account for the added cost of educating students who require special educations services and those who need extra help learning the English Language.
One explanation for the proposal’s failures is that it appears to have been developed in conjunction with The Connecticut School Finance Project, a charter school advocacy front group that has been working closely – in violation of Connecticut’s ethics laws – with Governor Dannel Malloy and his administration.