GOV. MALLOY: PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF CHOICE MUST BE AN INTEGRAL PARTNER IN REACHING HARD-TO-SERVE STUDENT POPULATIONS
Proposes Increased Charter School and Magnet School Competitiveness and Greater Accountability
(HARTFORD, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced a proposal to support and expand public schools of choice in Connecticut and strengthen their role in improving educational opportunities for students in need.
The proposal will increase the state's role in supporting magnet schools, charter schools, agricultural science schools, and other high-quality options.
The charter school provisions will augment the state's competitiveness in attracting the highest quality providers by bringing public charter schools closer to funding parity with traditional public schools, while also demanding increased accountability to ensure these schools are focusing sufficiently on traditionally underserved student populations.
The proposals are part of the package of education reform legislation that Governor Malloy will on submit for the upcoming 2012 legislative session. The Governor said this portion emphasizes his commitment to embrace multiple school models as a part of his package for education reform, in particular in the state's lowest achieving school districts.
"Charter schools provide families with options within the public school system, options that can be a real asset in targeting those students who have had trouble achieving success in other schools," Governor Malloy said. "During my time as mayor of Stamford, we created two charter schools, and the results were overwhelmingly positive. We should assist in the ability of charter schools to reach these high-need student populations while also implementing requirements to ensure that those who can benefit most from this schooling are targeted. This proposal will do just that."
"Governor Malloy's proposal represents a win for Connecticut families. The plan will strengthen and increase the public school options - charters, magnets, CommPACT schools, and more - that are available to parents in our state," Stefan Pryor, Connecticut's Commissioner of Education, said. Regarding the charter school component of the proposal, Commissioner Pryor commented, "The best charter school models help to close the achievement gap, so it makes good sense that the Governor's plan channels charter energy to the places it's needed most - our lowest performing districts - as well as to the students who need the most attention and greatest opportunity."
Governor Malloy's charter schools proposal will:
Increase commitment to Connecticut's public schools of choice:
Invest $5.5 million in new funding to create capacity for opening new schools, including local charter schools, CommPACT schools, community schools, and five new state charter schools
Increase the state contribution for charter schools from $9,400 to $11,000 per pupil, with an additional $1,000 per pupil from the local districts
Transfer charter funding to Education Cost Sharing section of education statutes (without affecting ECS funding for districts)
Add $5 million in per-pupil spending to create increased equity for magnet schools funding across the state
Provide $750,000 in grants to agricultural science schools that demonstrate strong plans to recruit students from low-performing school districts
Provide $500,000 for improved training resources and supplies for students in Connecticut's vocational-technical schools.
Compel specific requirements when creating new charter schools:
- Adopt legislation requiring any new charter schools to be created only in high-need districts
- Require the State Board of Education to give new charter school application preferences to schools that:
- Propose educational programs designed specifically to serve priority student populations, including students with histories of low academic performance, students with histories of behavioral/social problems, special education students, and others
- Demonstrate strong strategies to attract, enroll, and retain priority student populations
- Propose an education program designed to serve English language learner students; or propose a location in a neighborhood with a high percentage of English language learner students, while demonstrating capacity to provide high-quality educational services to this population
- Specialize in turnarounds of low-achieving schools
Focus recruiting on priority student populations:
- Require all applicants for the establishment of new charters to submit a recruitment and retention plan detailing plans to recruit, enroll, and retain priority student populations
- Enable charter schools to propose modifications to their lottery procedures to
give preference to priority student populations
- Hold charter schools accountable for the success of their documented recruitment and retention practices for priority student populations when the State Board of Education considers schools for charter renewal
Strengthens provisions for the creation of local charter schools:
- Create new incentives for the creation of local charter schools with high-quality strategies for serving various priority populations or that propose to turn around existing schools that have exhibited low academic performance; these schools will be eligible for:
- State funding of $3,000 per pupil and a $500,000 start-up grant
- Defined scope of collective bargaining with school staff to provide added flexibility for implementing turnaround strategies and serving priority students
Governor Malloy's 2012 Education Reform Proposals:
Governor Malloy previously announced his plans to focus attention of the 2012 legislative session on issues that reform the state's education system in order to make Connecticut a national leader in narrowing the achievement gap. Recent announcements made by the Governor on this topic include:
For Immediate Release: February 6, 2012
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