On the evening of Wednesday, November 4th, the Connecticut State Board of Education (Board) held its monthly meeting, which was televised and is available on-demand online here. The meeting agenda can be found here. One charter item regarding funding for Stamford Charter School for Excellence was identified in Agenda Item VIII: Financial Matters, Budget Options.

This month’s agenda included:

The Board started the meeting with a moment of silence for the passing of Sharon Clemons, community member, business owner and wife of State Board member Erik Clemons.

Public comment included a submission from our organization in support of grade growth for Stamford Charter School for Excellence, which can be found here. There was no executive session or report from the Board chair following public comment.

The Commissioner’s report included updates on meetings with superintendents, visits to schools and meetings with various education associations. The Commissioner also shared updates on district learning models during the time of the pandemic in the fall. Lastly, he reported on the four National Blue Ribbon Schools (George Hersey Robertson School (Coventry), Northeast School (Vernon), Norton Elementary School (Cheshire), and South Street School (Danbury)).

During the Financial Matters: Budget Options section, State Department of Education Chief Financial Officer Kathy Demsey described that the State Department is requesting $1.26 million in FY 2022 and $1.89 million in FY 2023 for an expansion of the grade configuration at the Stamford Charter School for Excellence. The school requested permission to expand from Grades PK-5 to Grades PK-8, to incorporate a middle school program for its students. This is a two-step process requiring State Board approval of a material change and budgetary approval of the seats by the legislature in the upcoming budget. With the closure of two charter schools in Stamford over the last two years, the State Department stated that a portion of that funding be used for the grade expansion of Stamford Charter School for Excellence.

The State Board unanimously approved that the State Department of Education move these budget options forward to the Office of Policy and Management for further consideration for the state budget.

Finally, Chief Performance Officer Ajit Gopalkrishnan reported data on the current year’s enrollment, attendance and district updates, and Bob Trefry provided an update on the Connecticut Technical Education and Career System (CTECS) Annual Report.