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Unite for a better education for all kids

Coming from Haiti, we feel blessed to call ourselves American citizens and to be able to raise our three beautiful children in a school like the Integrated Day Charter School, because in a great and generous America, you don’t have to speak perfect English to be accepted and to be treated equally, whether it is for work or for school.

Recently, when Governor Lamont announced in his budget the increased funding to charter schools, he simply responded to his duty to make sure that every kid is treated equally by receiving the same quality of education, regardless of which type of public school they choose to attend. He understands that in this country the doors of opportunity must be open for every child.

The charter school in Norwich has already answered this call by the quality of education that it offers to the community. We are the first beneficiaries of it. Our son’s education requires special attention. With the available resources, IDCS is helping make him one of the most successful pupils.

For too long, the charter schools in Connecticut that serve brown and Black communities have been mistreated and underserved by our state, which chooses to ignore the basic rights of people like us. Treating public schools and charter schools differently creates a gap between kids. In America, there is not supposed to be a Black, brown, poor, or rich education system, but only an American system of education. There is supposed to be equal opportunity for all. Right now, that is not the case.

Our daughter, who is majoring in Finance, currently attending college, and is still an “A” student with English as a second language, is a perfect example of what charter schools offer to the community. Without spending time at a charter school, we do not believe that she would be where she is today. The charter school turned her life around and set her up for success in the future.

Our state’s charter schools provide rare opportunities for kids like our daughter to receive an education that will help them realize their full potential. But this shouldn’t be rare. All children in our state should be given the opportunity to thrive.

It is for this reason that I am calling on the public not only to support Lamont’s proposed increase in funding to charter schools ($ 11,250 to $ 11,525) but to also support legislation like SB948 which, if passed, will finally take the first real steps towards dismantling systemic racism in our public education system.

Let's make equality and equity a priority for us and our children. Let's come together for a common cause, embrace the future of our children, focusing on that which can unite us, while putting away the differences that divide us.

Whether we are Republicans or Democrats, we can make America greater. Join our fight for education justice at www.educationjusticenow.org.

Samuel and Monette Pierre submitted this commentary.

 

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