Connecticut – Beware the charter school industry’s proposed new school funding scheme
The charter school front groups, ConnCAN and the Connecticut Council on Education Reform, with the help of the Connecticut School Finance Project, the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) and the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) – Two groups that are funded through local school budgets and are supposed to be advocating for public schools – have proposed a set of principles for a new school funding formula for Connecticut that will undermine the state’s public school districts and drain local municipal budgets.
The new pro-charter school plan is based on the school funding formula in Rhode Island and it is a classic “Money Follows the Child” system that would mean that, in addition to collecting about $110 million a year from the State of Connecticut, the state’s privately owned and operated Charter Schools would grab an additional $40-$50 million a year in public funds from the local schools in Bridgeport, New Haven, Hartford, Stamford, Hamden, Norwich and Manchester.
The operative language in the new charter school sponsored formula reads;
“A combination of state and local funds should be allocated to schools of choice on a per student basis, so that the total per-pupil funding for these students will go to the schools or districts of choice.”
This public money “follows the child” plan is particularly appalling and inappropriate because charter schools are not accountable to elected local board of education. Local school districts have no say in whether charter schools are created, where they are located, which children they educate or refuse to educate, nor do local boards of education have control over any other charter school policy or practice.
The operative question is why should local taxpayers pay for a school that Connecticut - Beware the charter school industry’s proposed new school funding scheme - Wait What?: