What We're Doing, What We're Reading - June 14, 2016

Here is the latest charter news we've been keeping up on. 

On the Blog

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The latest episode of our incredible podcast, The Grade, is up! Kyle Rosenkrans wrapped up his tenure as the Northeast Charter Schools Network CEO last Friday, but before he left he sat down with us to reflect on his time here and talk about what's next and why this work is so important.

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Our 20 Graduates in 20 Days series continues! We have highlighted some awesome Connecticut charter grads so far, and today we shared the story of Keiry Gutierrez from Path Academy. Keiry's story is incredible. This young woman possesses strength and determination in the face of incredible odds. From El Salvador to a CT charter school -- her story is worth reading!

And you can read the rest of these amazing stories here.

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The New York Twenty series is almost at an end. Meet Mount Vernon charter dad Anthony Crossman, whose daughters attend Amani Public Charter School. Find out why charter advocacy is is so important to the Crossman family.

NECSN in the News

11 new charter schools were approved to open across New York yesterday. We put out a statement congratulating the new schools, and the Long Island Exchange shared it. Our NY State Director Andrea Rogers said of the new schools:

"Tens of thousands of names are on waitlists for charter schools across New York State, so we applaud SUNY and the Board of Regents for approving these new schools. The families in these communities - from New York City to Buffalo - will benefit for years to come with the addition of these new charter schools in their neighborhoods."

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In case you missed it, NECSN CT State Director Jeremiah Grace had an op-ed last week on 20 years of Connecticut charter schools. The 20-year anniversary of Connecticut charters continues throughout the year so stay tuned for more blog posts, stories in the press, and podcasts from those close to the charter movement!

Charter Schools, Special Education and Discipline

The National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools Equity Coalition released a joint statement urging the charter sector to commit to strong and fair discipline practices for all students, including students with disabilities, saying:

"Given important autonomies, public charter schools have the opportunity to create effective, inclusive learning environments and to be exemplars of educational equity, quality and innovation. We collectively challenge the sector to realize its full potential in benefiting ALL students and to implement effective positive and equitable disciplinary practices that are essential to assuring student success."

New York News

The legislative session ends on Thursday. Governor Cuomo gave the Legislature his six priorities as session comes to a close, and mayoral control of NYC schools was not on his list.

From POLITICO New York: As of Tuesday morning, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan left the Assembly with two options on mayoral control: pass a one-year extension with few conditions, or approve a three-year extension laden with non-starters.

One of those newly approved charter schools will open in Buffalo.

Genesee Community Charter School in Rochester is serving as an example of socioeconomic integration in Rochester schools.

Check out how one Brooklyn charter school with a diverse student body is working to increase diversity in the classroom.

From the Huffington Post: A Group Of Bronx Teens Are Trying To Transform New York City’s Segregated Schools.

FYI: On Tuesday, June 21st Harlem Link Charter School will hold its fifth grade graduation, where A’Lelia Bundles will be the keynote speaker. Ms. Bundles is the Great-Grandaughter of A’Lelia Walker, daughter of Madame C.J. Walker, the first African American female millionaire and major figure of The Harlem Renaissance.

Connecticut News

From the Hartford Courant: Frustrated plaintiffs in the Sheff v. O'Neill lawsuit accepted a new agreement Friday to continue desegregation efforts in Hartford, asking a judge to approve a one-year extension that does little more than maintain the status quo during the state's fiscal troubles.

The chief financial officer for New Haven Public Schools is leaving the district for Achievement First.

City school board member Maria Pereira was assigned to Achievement First Bridgeport as a board liaison, but on the day of AF's board meeting she was told she was suspended from that assignment.

Katie Roy of the Connecticut School Finance Project discusses the need to fix school funding, saying:

"The task of fixing our state’s flawed school finance system will not be an easy one — the system is complex and it impacts many different stakeholders who have varying concerns and perspectives. However, having an equitable, predictable, and consistent system for how the state allocates more than $2 billion in education funding isn’t ideological or partisan — it’s just good governance."

Joe was the Deputy Communications Director for New York for the Northeast Charter Schools Network.
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What We're Doing, What We're Reading - June 14, 2016
What We're Doing, What We're Reading - June 14, 2016
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