We have launched a brand new feature here on Extra Credit - The New York Twenty: Real Charter Champions. Over the next several weeks we will be profiling the everyday people who are champions to their children: parents and grandparents who make the critical choice to send their kids to charter schools. Today, get to know Elmira charter parent Kay Mighty-Brown.
Her son Justin attends Finn Academy: An Elmira Charter School, where Mighty-Brown volunteers while juggling the demands of college.
“It’s draining but I am driven. I don’t allow anything to break my spirit. My son gets to see my work ethic and that will help shape who he becomes, even though he doesn’t really understand it now.”
You can read Mighty-Brown's amazing story here.
Excitement at the State Capitols
We remain on high alert in Albany. If lawmakers want to hit the goal of an on-time budget, a deal must be reached this week. Legislative staffers worked throughout the holiday weekend and lawmakers returned to Albany today. We have folks at the Capitol working to make sure we receive the most up-to-date information, and we'll let you know when a budget deal is reached. Stay tuned.
In Connecticut, charter school leaders around the state responded to the GOP's proposed cuts to charters. New Haven charter school leaders came together to denounce the cuts as "reckless and irresponsible," and Side By Side Executive Director Matthew Nittoly also detailed how these cuts would devastate Connecticut charters.
The excitment kept coming in CT as Jumoke Academy and Common Ground parents made their way to the Capitol and had the chance to meet Governor Malloy!
We are at both Capitols monitoring any and all charter school developments and will provide updates as they come.
On the Blog
A little crunch time budget primer for you. Interim NYS Director Andrea Rogers and Director of Data and Research Wendy Nelson lay out why the Assembly's budget proposal would be devastating for New York's charters.
In reality, the provisions around enrollment and retention of high need students would unequivocally close schools for failing to meet standards that traditional district schools typically cannot meet. Let us say that again. Charter schools would be forced to meet goals that district schools themselves would not be able to meet – and charters would be shuttered if these goals are not met.
Andrea also responded to the findings of the UCLA Civil Rights Project report on charter school discipline policies.
The report hits an obvious nerve, which was really the point. It is descriptive in nature and presents a narrative that does not reflect favorably on the charter sector. We caution against using this report to make sweeping generalizations about all charter schools, however.
NECSN in the News
Our Connecticut Policy Manager Chris Harrington discussed Governor Malloy's budget proposal on the Heartland Institute.
The landmark Brown v. New York charter funding lawsuit was mentioned in the latest Rochester Democrat & Chronicle story on charters. A lack of facilities in Rochester is causing more charters to look for space in Greece.
New York News
Broome Street Academy Charter School recently received a five-year renewal, and is doing tremendous work with some of the most underserved kids in NYC. The Daily Beast just ran an amazing story about this miracle school.
Important read from the Buffalo News: How the power of NYSUT upended education reform movement in New York.
Sean "Diddy" Combs today announced that he is helping to found Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School. Capital Prep will be led by Steve Perry, who operates Capital Preparatory Harbor charter school in Bridgeport, CT. Diddy says that helping with this school is "a dream come true." This certainly makes up for teaming with Jimmy Page for the Godzilla song.
Shalamar & Kashay Ward and Rossileny Linarez, parent members of StudentsFirstNY, took to the Bronx Chronicle to discuss how important it is for there to be more school options in their community.
The New Haven Independent took a look at Achievement First's "school of the future" and new Greenfield model.
The Percussion Ensemble/Bucket Brigade from the Interdistrict School for Arts And Communication represented in the New London St. Patrick's Day Parade last weekend!
Katie Roy of the Connecticut School Finance Project looks at special education funding in this piece for the New Haven Register.