NEW CLIENT | CT Parents Union: A Good Education Is Not a Crime

The Connecticut Parents Union believes a good education is a not a crime.

Sounds simple, right?

In the United States, education of children is compulsory and universally available.

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Yet, in school districts around the nation, parents within the ZIP code of sub-par schools face some tough choices if they want their kids to attend college.

They can hope to get their kids into the limited seats available at charter schools, if available nearby, or find the funding for private schools.

But a rising number of parents are option for a third choice: breaking the residency laws and possibly be convicted of “stealing” a public education.

Numerous cases of residency fraud include school districts paying for private investigators to track down the legal residence of students.

Authorities may prosecute, though many opt to allow parents to simply pull their students from the school and return them to the failing schools they fled.

Considering the lengths these parents go to seek out a better education, parents seem painfully aware of the lifelong struggles ahead for their children if they do not get out of these failure factories.

How can America’s public education system ever expect to close the achievement gap with such a hostile environment – one that locks out the poorest children of color?

The Connecticut Parents Union and the recently-launched National Parents Union hope to lead a country-wide mission to challenge these residency laws to make public education free and fair to all children.

It’s a challenge that Galvanized Strategies relishes to take on with the organizations headed up by the feisty spark-plug Gwen Samuel, a warrior mom of two from Meriden, Conn.

In recognition of her education advocacy efforts, Parenting Magazine selected Samuel as one of 51 moms from across the country to represent their state at the inaugural March 2010 Mom Congress on Education and Learning Conference at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Some policy makers wait in the wings to take on this battle with Samuel and her growing base of support.

While the issue of funding does muck up the works, we know that the real crime is protecting the achievement gap – not good parenting. A resolution must be sought to end this archaic practice.

Tomorrow’s leaders don’t attend failing schools. Locking out a kid from a good school is a life sentence to crime and low-wage jobs.

**Learn more about the CT Parents Union at www.ctparentsunion.org.

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