Looks like officials at the State Department of Education have changed their minds about not releasing the applications of those seeking to open new charter schools in the state.

The department has now made available three of the seven pending applications. (See the application for the charter in Waterbury here, Norwalk here and Windham/Willimantic here.)

The move to release some of the applications comes as the governor and his education commissioner hope to open new charter schools next school year. The move also follows a child advocacy group calling on the state department to stop hiding the applications. 

brief two-page description of all the applications was released last month by the State Department of Education, however requests made by The Connecticut Mirror for the full applications were denied.

A spokeswoman for the department said the documents will not be released because they are agreements that are still being negotiated between the applicants and the state.

State law requires that these applications include the financial plans, school governance procedures, instructional plans, plans to promote diversity and other educational standards. The law also requires that a public hearing be held on the application in the neighborhood where the school will be located and that the plan be voted on by the State Board of Education.

Public hearings on two of the applications are set to take place Thursday in Windham/Willimantic and next Tuesday in Waterbury.

The public hearing in Norwalk took place last week.

The Windham public hearing will take place at Windham Technical High School Thursday at 6 p.m. The Waterbury hearing is set for next Tuesday at W.F. Kaynor Technical High School.

It was unclear Tuesday whether the remaining four charter applications will be released to the public.

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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