By Joel Schiavone
In the first of my articles on the New Haven financial situation I tried to point out how the problem was structural and not solvable simply by raising taxes. Sure enough, the City’s only response to an overwhelming deficit for the next couple of years is to raise taxes. I tried to point out that this is a zero sum game, meaning they will never get caught up until the City runs out of money which I expect within the next six months.
In that article I made a list of items that should immediately be addressed to stem the tide of red ink and maybe forestall bankruptcy. The leading candidates on this list are the New Haven public schools. The answer is simple. The solution perhaps impossible.
New Haven public charter schools are producing student results – three times better than those run by the New Haven Board of Education.
Almost without notice by any of the local media, was the announcement that Amistad High School was named by U.S. News and World Report the number one performing high school in the entire state of Connecticut, ahead of all those fancy Fairfield County schools where every student receives a personal tutor at birth. Did you read anything about this in the New Haven papers? Of course not! As talking about the success of the charter schools is frowned upon by virtually all the Democrats in the City of New Haven and throughout the State.
The only recent article I read about New Haven Schools was three and a half pages in the Yale Daily News which described in excruciating detail the newly elected nonfunctional New Haven school board. Anyone reading this would realize that it is an impossible task to improve these public schools anytime during our lifetime. Fortunately, the New Haven public charter schools have outpointed everybody and we are still alive.
How long will we continue to support and fund nonperforming New Haven public schools?
The only solution is to convert the remaining public schools to New Haven public charter schools as soon as possible. The only way this could happen is for the parents who vote in New Haven, and who, for some inexplicable reason continue to support the New Haven public schools, will finally turn against them and demand that every child receive the same high quality education that children in the public charter schools are enjoying and that the world demands! How long will we sit back and watch our children flounder, ending up without the skills needed or a productive successful life?
The parent voters in New Haven who could control all the elections should refuse to support and vote for anyone who does not insist on a high quality public charter school education for everyone!
As for the achievement gap, there is nothing wrong with these kids or with their parents contrary to claims by the politicians and the school officials in New Haven. The problem is the failure of the public schools.
This is a long term and a helpful short term solution as charter schools operate much more efficiently than the noncharter schools. In the long term, the increased productivity of children going to college and not on welfare will yearly increase the tax revenues and increase the productivity of the work force in New Haven.