The Hartford Bridgeport Board of Education is paying Steve Perry a large salary to serve as the Principal of its Capital Prep Magnet School. Perry has a twelve month contract so he is supposed to be “on duty” year around.
Although Perry has missed 20 percent of the Capital Prep school days this year, he has been paid for those missed time thanks to banked vacation days, sick days and personal days.
But he actually spent those days traveling around the country giving speeches for hire.
Most recently, the news is that Steve Perry has submitted an application to open up a Steve Perry Capital Prep Charter School in Bridgeport.
Perry intends to use the charter school management company that he set up a few years ago.
According to the official documents filed at the Connecticut Secretary of State, Perry’s private company is housed at his home in Middletown and he is the sole owner of the entity.
However, Perry filed documents with the Internal Revenue Service claiming that his company is really housed at the same address as the Hartford public school that he runs.
The immediate question that arises is that although he was being paid by the taxpayers of Hartford for his full full-time job with the Hartford Board of Education and making far more money thanks to his speaking business, Perry had time over the past few months to create a 600 page Charter School Application and meet with state and local officials to lobby for their help and support.
It certainly isn’t clear who paid for the development of the application or how he managed to hold down two jobs and still develop his Steve Perry Capital Prep Charter School plan.
What is clear is that Perry expects to make a huge windfall from his Charter School Project.
According to the application Perry submitted, the Hartford Board of Education employee is demanding that Governor Malloy’s Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor, approve a management fee of at least $2.6 million dollars over the first five years of his Charter School project.
In addition, he apparently expects the City of Bridgeport to pay for the following costs:
- Rent for the Steve Perry Capital Prep Charter School
- Utilities for the Steve Perry Capital Prep Charter School
- Custodial Costs for the Steve Perry Capital Prep Charter School.
And all that money comes on top of the state subsidy that he would be getting.
With Commissioner Pryor’s support, Steve Perry would not only receive a major “startup” grant, but Connecticut taxpayers would hand over approximately $34 million to Perry’s company over the first five years that the school is in operation. By the fifth year, Perry would be expecting a public subsidy in excess of $11.5 million dollars a year to run his charter school.
These funds would be on top of his management fee and the taxpayer support doesn’t even count the millions of dollars Perry would be getting from the taxpayers of Bridgeport to subsidize his school transportation costs and pay for the special education services of the students who would be attending his Charter School.
Putting aside the massive cost and the myriad of problems associated with Perry’s erratic and dysfunctional management style, the ultimate insult to Bridgeport and Connecticut is that Perry claims that his school will provide educational opportunities to the full range of students who attend Bridgeport’s school system.
Perry’s application reports that;
13% of the student body will be for students who need special education services, 6% of the students will be those face English Language barriers and 90% of the students will come from families that are so poor that they qualify for Free/Reduced lunch .
Compare those numbers to the reality of Steve Perry’s Capital Prep School in Hartford.
Instead of a special education population of 13%, Perry’s Hartford school only 6.3% of the students served have special education needs and most of those are not getting the services they need, deserve and are legally entitled too.
Instead of an ELL/Bilingual population of 6% that he is promising Bridgeport, only 3.4% of the students in Perry’s Hartford school face English Language challenges.
And instead of 90% of the children coming from low income households, only 51.4% of his students in Hartford qualifying for Free/Reduced lunches
The truth is that despite the fact that his application is in excess of 600 pages, Steve Perry’s Bridgeport Charter School application appears to be nothing more than a sham.
Oh, and one last extremely revealing note about Steve Perry’s unwillingness to provide equal education opportunities to Latinos and those who face language barriers…
Perry’s Bridgeport Charter School application brags that 6% of the student in his Charter School will be reserved for children who need English Language help. But of course, as the State Department of Education reports, the number of Bridgeport students who need English Language Services is at least 12% and growing. That number that is more than double the percentage that Perry says he will accept in his proposed Bridgeport Charter school and four times the number he allows into Hartford’s Capital Prep School.
The State Department of Education is rushing the approval process through. Check back for more information about when any public hearings on Perry’s Charter School proposal will be held.