A Statement From the Middletown Racial Justice Coalition (MRJC)
April 21, 2023
Dear State Legislators & Officials,
The Middletown Racial Justice Coalition writes to urge you not to invest in Capital Prep
Middletown, in which funding has recently been allocated through the General Assembly’s Appropriations Budget, but to instead invest in ensuring that our Middletown Public Schools are fully funded and resourced in to eradicate racism, so that people of color do not feel their best option is to leave!
As a local group that believes all Black & Brown children deserve quality and equitable education in schools that acclaim and celebrate them, we work to ensure that local public schools–which are the only option for many of our students–can provide that. With that said, we do NOT support reallocating any funding for Middletown (or any other city) Public Schools to Capital Prep Middletown. As the state contemplates moving closer to student-centered funding, in the long run, much-needed funding and resources will be removed from our public schools to support this charter school. As a group that has always advocated for more funding for our public schools, the MRJC would be remiss in supporting anything that goes against that.
While we understand, agree, and empathize with the reasons people of color would want to remove their children from our current school systems, the MRJC firmly believes that the answer is to continue to put pressure on these systems to demand they educate and treat our children with the respect they deserve. We know that our current educational systems are racist and that they are not treating families of color with the dignity they deserve. It’s understandable that folks would want to leave. But with respect to the needs of every child of color in Middletown, these current systems are all many of us will continue to have access to, regardless of Capital Prep Middletown. We need to be demanding more from our public schools! Our communities need funding for anti-racist teaching, hiring, and curriculum development. Capital Prep Middletown will not eradicate the issues of racism for all, or even most, of our children of color in Middletown.
Instead of funding charter schools, we urge that you instead fund anti-racist initiatives within our public schools such as:
● Removing police and other punitive practices from public schools and replacing them with mental health supports
● Investing in systems of restorative and transformative justice and healing within the public school systems
● Instituting tangible policies and practices of racial equity that will ensure that EVERY public school in CT can be one that any student of color could thrive in
● Investing in anti-racist curriculum and staff development within Middletown Public Schools
Thank you for your consideration,
The Middletown Racial Justice Coalition