Parents from across Connecticut started the Connecticut Families for Excellent Schools affiliate in 2012, with a goal to empower public school parents across the state to help improve our public schools. Parents understood that too often the funding of a child’s public education is based on where that child lives or what type a public school they attend. Too many kids graduate from high school in Connecticut unprepared for the challenges of college or career.
In Bridgeport, one-third of students never graduate high school. That’s why many parents across the community are demanding great public schools – improving district schools or options like magnet and charter schools. In fact, there are currently more than 4,000 names on waiting lists for those schools in Bridgeport.
Our goal is to demonstrate that Bridgeport public school parents and families will no longer be divided. We must work together. And we will continue to organize until they do, and until every child has access to a great school.
In the spring of 2014, the Bridgeport Board of Education attempted to sue the State Board of Education to block the opening of two new state charters in Bridgeport. Our Bridgeport chapter mobilized along with members of the faith community to challenge the Board to drop their lawsuit, allowing hundreds of children access to high quality schools.
Our Bridgeport chapter launched the Unite Bridgeport campaign in the summer of 2014 to bring together parents, community members and allies to register voters and build support for a united plan to improve schools. Our campaign is driven by the need for bold progress to improve our community’s schools. Parents across Bridgeport are frustrated with the lack of urgency from their elected leaders.
Parents organized a series of house parties, chapter meetings and public forums with Bridgeport parents and community members to raise awareness about the education priorities across the city.
The Unite Bridgeport campaign collected 15,821 petition signatures from Bridgeport residents and registered over 600 new voters. Our chapter delivered those pledges to the Board of Education on Monday September 22, 2014.