Connecticut’s 6,780 Forgotten Children

In October 2018, the State Board of Education approved two new charter schools, including the Danbury Prospect School, which would educate up to 780 Middle and High School Students.

The Prospect Schools have been successfully educating students in Brooklyn, New York since 2009. They currently operate five schools with over 1,600 students, 42% of whom are socio-economically disadvantaged and 16% special needs. 100% of the students that attend Prospect Schools from sixth through twelfth grade go on to four-year colleges.

A donor has agreed to provide $25 million to fund Danbury Prospect’s facility.

So where do the children of Danbury, who should benefit from the opportunity to attend Danbury Prospect, stand today? They’re stuck in Danbury’s overcrowded and underfunded schools.

Danbury parents have been calling out for better learning options for their children, “My friends and I grew so excited that our children could have a new school to call their home and that Danbury Prospect would bring years of experience nurturing Latino children to our community.”

Danbury’s children deserve the same educational opportunities as students at the Stamford School for Excellence, which is regarded as one of the best performing public schools in Connecticut.

The sensible person might ask, “how can this be?” Governor Lamont and the legislature must allocate funding for the prospective students at Danbury Prospect as a line item in the State Budget. Once again, the Governor has failed to do this in his proposed budget.

For that matter, what about the 6,000 students on waiting lists for charter schools around the state, who are also left out by Governor Lamont? Charter schools are public schools serving Connecticut’s students just like district managed public schools. They have consistently shown better outcomes and can make significant progress in closing Connecticut’s Achievement Gap.

Connecticut is tired of “politics as usual.” The pandemic has demonstrated how our existing education policies are failing the students they are supposed to support.

Shame on you Governor Lamont, shame on you State Legislature – fund all public schools equitably – including public charter schools, you can’t ignore 6,780 children.

James Miller
Lyme, CT

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