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February 15, 2017

Connecticut Charter Public School Parents, Leaders, and Advocacy Organizations Submit Amicus Curiae Brief In CCJEF v Rell

Advocates for Educational Choice, a coalition made up of the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN), Families for Excellent Schools (FES), the Northeast Charter School Network (NECSN), Achievement First, and dozens of Connecticut charter public school parents and educators have submitted an amicus curiae brief in the CCJEF v Rell education case now pending before the Connecticut Supreme Court. The group’s brief urges the Connecticut Supreme Court to recognize that the Connecticut Constitution guarantees all students a meaningful right to education that prepares students to be “college and career ready and that charter public schools are part of the solution.”  As the Advocates for Educational Choice explain, charter public schools in Connecticut meet and exceed this standard year after year, helping to close the State’s achievement gaps and preparing students to succeed well after high school.  Yet charter public schools face severe constraints—including insufficient and uncertain funding—that prevent them from serving even more of Connecticut’s students. As a result, the brief contends, any remedy arising out of the case must ensure the availability and sustainability of charter public schools in Connecticut.
 
“As a parent of a student at Achievement First Hartford Elementary Schools, I know firsthand that charter public schools are providing the kind of high quality education our State Constitution promises,” said Roshena Moore. “I signed onto this amicus brief because I want the Supreme Court to know that our charter public schools are working and should be a part of the solution.”
 
“We submitted this amicus brief because we want the Supreme Court to understand that our State’s charter public schools are consistently meeting and exceeding student proficiency and growth goals,” said Jeremiah Grace, Connecticut State Director for the Northeast Charter Schools Network. “With a proven track record of closing achievement gaps, access to sustainable funding for our charter public schools must be part of any solution intended to improve educational equity for all of Connecticut’s students.”
 
“At the heart of this case are Connecticut’s inexcusable student achievement gaps that call into question whether we’re delivering on our State’s constitutional promise to provide a quality education to all of our kids,” said Jennifer Alexander, CEO of ConnCAN. “This brief demonstrates that our charter public schools have a track record of closing these very achievement gaps and should therefore be part of any court-ordered or General Assembly solution to the fundamental educational adequacy and equity issues raised in the CCJEF lawsuit.”  
 
“Connecticut’s charter public schools are achieving outstanding results for children in Connecticut’s highest need communities,” said Joshua Lipshutz, Partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and counsel for the Advocates for Educational Choice. “Given this record of success, any solution to the educational adequacy and equity issues at the heart of this case must include expanded access to charter public schools throughout Connecticut.”
 
“The State of Connecticut has a constitutional and moral obligation to ensure that all kids – no matter who they are, where they live or what type of public school they go to – receive a high-quality education and equitable funding that sets them up for success in college, career and life,” said Dacia Toll, co-CEO and President of Achievement First, which includes eleven public charter schools serving 3,800 students in Connecticut.  “Any action in response to the CCJEF lawsuit, whether by court order or legislative action, should include all students and all public schools.”
 
Click here for a full copy of the Advocates for Educational Choice Amici Curiae Brief to the Connecticut Supreme Court in the case of Coalition for Justice in Education Funding, Inc., et al. v. M. Jody Rell, et al.

 

Advocates for Educational Choice Amici Curiae Brief Co-Signers:

 

Organizational Co-Signers

  • ConnCAN

  • NECSN

  • Achievement First

  • FES

 

Other Co-Signers

  • Dacia Toll, co-CEO and President, Achievement First  [in her individual and official capacity]

  • Emily Banks, Principal, Achievement First Hartford High

  • Morgan Barth, Principal, Achievement First Amistad High

  • Benjamin Cruse, Principal, Achievement First Summit Middle

  • Robert Hawke, Principal, Elm City College Prep Middle

  • Andrew Poole, Principal, Elm City College Prep Elementary

  • Katie Poynter, Principal, Amistad Academy Middle

  • Kerri-Ann Thomas, Principal, Achievement First Hartford Academy Elementary

 

Parents of Connecticut Students Co-Signers

 

Hartford

  • Lauri Andrews

  • Quehonna Binion

  • Dahlia Bryan

  • Veronica Collazo

  • India Jones

  • Teena O’Neil

  • Carmen Rivera

  • Terri Ann Walker

  • Debbie Wilson

 

New Haven

  • Dean Howard

  • Tosha Harvin

  • Theresa Mende

  • Marcey Moore

  • Chantel Whitehead

 

Bridgeport

  • Amanda Campbell

  • Kadisha Coates

  • Aisha Guitierrez

  • Chris James

  • Moneisha Lee

  • Jessica Martinez

  • Chris Mercer

  • Latefiah Moore

  • Ahmad Moubinaid

  • Jean Morris

  • Aisha Rodriguez


 

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