As Americans, Danburians, immigrants and community members, we have embraced Danbury as our new home, and as taxpayers, we know what is best for our children and our city. We are homeowners, business owners, and group leaders. Like everyone else, we believe the children of our city are its greatest resource. So when we choose to elect our city and state leaders, we are choosing those leaders who support our children, the future of Danbury.

We have experienced firsthand the problems of an underfunded school system. It is very difficult for our children who need extra help with learning in overcrowded classrooms, for our children who struggle to finish high school, and for our children who are being left behind in academics. We need more teachers who reflect our community, and a public school properly funded to handle the challenges we face today.

We want solutions, we want action – but we do not want a charter school. We elected state and city leaders because they are committed to helping our public schools which lift all students.

It does sound nice to have a charter school, when you first look. The charter organization promises small classes, world-class education and teachers who look like us. But it does not tell you that only a small amount of our students will have access. And it does not tell you that it has very little experience with students who are learning English.

There are others in our community who are as committed as we are to the education of our children, and they are very loud about their support of a charter school. But the promises of a charter school are made at a cost to all the students who are not picked to be part of the charter school. And we do not want any of our children left behind.

The charter school would receive more money from the state than our public schools for each student that attends. Each time a student leaves the Danbury Public Schools to go to the charter, the public schools lose money. And the public schools would have to pay out of its budget for the buses and special education at the charter school. This pushes even more money to the charter school when our public schools are already starving.

That is why we have asked our city and state leaders to protect the community from a charter school. It is why we have asked them to fight at all levels to increase funding for the public schools, so that all our children can have the quality education which will make them successful and keep Danbury successful.

Other state leaders have spoken about bringing a charter school to Danbury. To them, we ask that you please understand here in our community, we do not want this. Our leaders know this, and they represent our voices to you. We believe in choice, but once you leave the public schools, you pay for that choice. The members of our community who have pleaded with you about a charter school do not represent all thoughts and opinions about this. Please stand with our elected leaders who stand with us.

And to the neighbors in our community who are disappointed to see these truths, please join us to fight for education for all our students. We want to see a Danbury which is thriving and strong, and we need your help to gain funding from the city and the state. We need your passionate voices at the Board of Education meetings when we ask for more teachers who reflect our community. We need you to speak up at City Council meetings in budget season, and to send letters to our governor to explain that Danbury schools need more support from the state.

Together we can make Danbury Public Schools the best choice for all our students.

Elke Calero Sweeney, Oswaldo Chin, Jessica Coronel, Juan Fonseca Tapia, Wilson Hernandez, Anjali Illescas, Will Love, Clementina Lunar, Isaiah McCorkle, Nelson Merchan, Elvis Novas, Lorena Santana, 
Jessica dos Santos, Amina Suhail,  Amber Then, Juan Vasquez. Some of these are members of Community for Change.

Leave a comment