Opinion: The chamber’s case for Danbury Prospect Charter School

Chambers of Commerce don’t typically provide input regarding matters related to public education, as we “don’t get involved with those sort of matters.” However, the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce strongly believes that public education has a direct correlation to the economic strength and well-being of our community.

It is not by chance that the City of Danbury and the Danbury labor market in general each year is the envy of the state with a multitude of economic metrics including the lowest unemployment rate and job growth. This is a direct result, among many other reasons, of a welcoming business environment with stable and prudent financial planning by our community leaders.

With a vibrant economy, a superior quality of life and a very diverse community, it is no wonder that Danbury is an attractive place to live, work, play and be educated in.

On the topic of education, there is

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Opinion: Teachers’ union opposes charter school for Danbury


As dedicated Danbury educators, our top priority is always the safety and well-being of our students. Whether the issue is how and when to reopen schools during the COVID-19 pandemic or charter schools trying to siphon students and funding from the district, further segregating Danbury schools — we will always advocate for what is in the best interest of our students and their families, public education, and our community.

That’s why we stand strongly against the proposal to bring the Prospect Charter School, run by a charter management organization out of New York, into our Danbury community. The charter school organization wants you to believe it will fill a need in our city, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Charter schools were authorized by the state based on their potential to innovate and share best practices

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CIVICA Colorado, a Milliken charter school, scheduled to open in August 2021

A new charter school is scheduled to open in Milliken in 20201, and the model for the future CIVICA Colorado is expected to fit the profile of the Johnstown and Milliken communities, according to one of the school founders.

CIVICA is a charter school authorized in the Johnstown-Milliken School District.

“Everything we do is character-driven,” said Sheena McOuat, who developed CIVICA Colorado with Craig Horton, a retired Fort Collins police officer who founded Liberty Common Charter School. “The students will pursue industry certification and internships so on graduation day, they can go to college or to a job or to the military.”

CIVICA Colorado charter school founding team
The founding team members of CIVICA Colorado, a charter school scheduled to open in Milliken in August 2021. From left: Craig Horton, Rex Beall, principal Sheena McOuat, Carlos Alvarez, Stephanie Podtburg and Noland Eastin. (Photo courtesy: Craig Horton).

McOuat, now the CIVICA principal, has 19 years in education

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Edtorial: Remember charter school reform? It’s more important than ever | Opinion

Remember charter school reform?

Before March and the public education turmoil caused by the coronavirus, the call for charter school funding reform was being echoed loudly in local school board meetings throughout the region at the start of 2020.

Several local boards considered and adopted a resolution circulated by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association supporting a charter reform proposal put forth by Gov. Tom Wolf. In January, more than 30 superintendents from districts in five counties formed a coalition, the Leaders for Educational Accountability and Reform Network, targeting legislative action on reform.

LEARN is comprised of “school leaders who are standing up for public education and fighting for charter school reform,” said Frank Gallagher, superintendent of Souderton Area School District, during a January press conference  in Montgomery County.

The superintendents’ initiative included visits to Harrisburg to lobby for the reform package. Even in early spring at the same time boards

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Ex-Arizona charter school principal sentenced in fraud case

PHOENIX (AP) — The former principal of a Goodyear charter school has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison and ordered to pay more than $2.5 million in restitution in a fraud case.

State prosecutors said Harold Cadiz was sentenced for his role in enrolling fake students to obtain funding from the Arizona Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Cadiz worked at the now-closed Bradley Academy of Excellence, a K-8 charter school.

Prosecutors said Cadiz reported hundreds of fake student profiles to the state education department to fraudulently get additional funding for the financially failing school.

The fake students were enrolled in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s school lunch program during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years.

After the school abruptly closed its doors in December 2017, it was discovered Bradley Academy included 191 fake students in its reported enrollment

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State laws have declined in their capacity to serve charter school students

State laws have declined in their capacity to serve charter school students, according to a new report published by the Center for Education Reform.

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Since 1996, CER has researched, analyzed and ranked charter school laws in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report ranks state laws and policies impacting education, including authorizers, growth, operations and equity.


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“The simple and original principle of charter schooling is that charter schools should receive enhanced operational autonomy in exchange for being held strictly accountable for the outcomes they promise to achieve,” the report states. “When charter school laws honor this principle, innovative, academically excellent charter schools flourish. In turn, schools that fail to produce strong outcomes close.”

Charter schools are as successful as their policy environments, CER notes.

“Some state laws and regulations encourage diversity and innovation in the charter sector by providing

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