What We're Doing, What We're Reading - September 13, 2016

The fight for fair charter school funding continued last week in a Rochester courtroom, as lawyers for charter school families argued that the Brown v. New York lawsuit should not be thrown out. In May 2015, a Buffalo judge denied the state's effort to have the case dismissed. Last week a panel of judges heard arguments in the state's appeal, and we pushed hard to show how critical it is that this case moves forward, and that these families have their day in court.

Make no mistake - this case is about fairness and equality and we will keep fighting for your schools

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Before the court hearing, we held a rally and demonstration alongside students, parents, and teachers from Rochester and Buffalo. We want to send a special shout out and thanks to Renaissance Academy for the Arts Charter School, Young Women's College Prep Charter School, and South Buffalo Charter School for joining us, and for their unwavering support for fair funding! 

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We got some excellent media coverage on the day, which you can find below.

We also streamed the rally live on Facebook, and if you missed it you can check it out here.

For more photos of the event click here.

A decision won't come for a while, but we are confident the court will rule in our favor. We will keep you posted as the case develops!


On the Blog

Last week at Booker T. Washing Academy in New Haven, NECSN staff and community partners gave students a warm welcome back with a back to school greeting line!

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Our Connecticut Advocacy Manager Jose Alfaro took to the blog to talk about the experience, saying:

"At NECSN, we believe that it takes a village to raise children to be their best selves. As a part of that vision, we were inspired to act and create a positive environment where young people can see that their village is invested in them, and that they have a support network of strong leaders that they can call on."

You can read his full post here.

NECSN in the News

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Our Western NY Advocacy Manager Duncan Kirkwood went on Time Warner Cable's Capital Tonight to discuss the Brown v. New York case and the fight for equitable funding.

Last week's event also received some television coverage:

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools also issued a statement in support of the case. You can read that here.

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New York State Director Andrea Rogers talked about the state's charter growth in an article from City & State. She also discussed charter funding, saying:

"We feel very strongly that students in (charter) schools deserve equal support as what students in the neighborhood school across the street gets. So, it's definitely an equity issue"

You can read the full article here.

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The New Haven Independent covered the first day of school at Booker T. Washington Academy and our welcome line! You can read about it here.

New York News

From Chalkbeat: After blistering charter critique, de Blasio visits KIPP middle school. That visit comes weeks after Mayor de Blasio dumped on charter students for their performance on state exams.

But Mayor de Blasio didn't stop at praising KIPP. He also said "of course" the City wants to work with charters.

The New York Post had an editorial on another reason why NYC charter schools are succeeding: more class time.

This Harlem mom discusses why she sent her son to a KIPP charter school, and how critical that decision has been in her son's development.

Families came out in support of Riverhead Charter School's plans for expansion.

Jerelyn Rodridguez is a KIPP charter school grad, and is providing tech training to students with her organization the Knowledge House.

The Bronx Charter School for Better Learning 2 was awarded a $4000 Dollar General Literacy Foundation Grant aimed at supporting schools to improve literacy instruction.

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Eight Syracuse Academy of Science Charter School students lost everything in a fire. Come out for their Donation Day on Saturday, September 24 and offer a helping hand! Click the flyer above for more info and ways to donate.

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Join Bronx Charter School for Excellence at the ribbon cutting for their beautiful new building next Wednesday! You can get more information and RSVP here.

Connecticut News

A historic decision was rendered in the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding case. Connecticut's education funding system was ruled unconstitutional, and officials were given six months to find a fix. More from the Hartford Courant and the Connecticut Post.

The New York Times published an editorial on the decision: A Holistic Ruling on Broken Schools.

Katie Roy of the Connecticut School Finance Project talks about the decision and steps to fixing the funding system in this op-ed.

Nine days into the school year and with two years left on her contract, Hartford Superintendent Beth Schiavino-Narvaez announced she is stepping down.

The city will move fast to replace her.

The New Haven district is looking for feedback as they look for ways to improve.

Joe was the Deputy Communications Director for New York for the Northeast Charter Schools Network.
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The fight for fair charter funding continues in NY; Welcoming CT charter students back
What We're Doing, What We're Reading - September 13, 2016
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