State legislators do not plan on intervening this year in the case where a mother from Bridgeport was arrested for sending her child to a better school in the neighboring city.

“It wouldn’t make sense to have a knee-jerk reaction. I think we will wait and look into it for possible action next year,” said Rep. Andy Fleischmann, D-West Hartford, the co-chairman of the Education Committee.

“That sounds like a good idea,” chimed in Rep. Toni Walker, D-New Haven and co-chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee.

But Gwen Samuel, founder of the Connecticut Parents Union, said next year may be too late.

“We have to intervene right now because we are arresting parents,” she said. “It really comes down to school choice.”

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and legislators have said they intend to tackle education reforms next legislative session, since they had to dedicate their time this year to closing the deficit.

The Bridgeport mother arrested last month faces a $15,000 fine to the city she sent her child to attend school at and a possible 20-year jail sentence.

State legislative researches issued a report earlier this month saying criminal prosecution is “rare but not unprecedented.”

The report found Connecticut’s fine for sending a child to the wrong school are similar to the seven states researchers looked at. However, the 20-years the Bridgeport mother faces is far longer then in the other states.

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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