More money for charter schools was included in the Democrats' version of the state budget, released by the appropriations committee Thursday.
And that makes charter schools, like Hartford's Achievement First, happy.
"We're very, very excited," said Achievement First's middle school principal Jeff House. "Based on what the appropriations committee has done, we will be able to grow as planned.... But we won't completely breathe easy until this is actually voted on by the whole legislature and finally approved."
Many charter schools open with just a couple grades, and plan to add more students each year. Achievement First, for example, opened in the fall with a kindergarten, first and fifth grade. Next year, the school hopes to have a kindergarten, first, second, fifth and sixth grade. But they depend on the state budget allocating more money each year for the additional students.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell's budget proposal provided for an additional 650 students to attend charter schools over the next two years, but charter advocates said that they needed enough money for 1,250 seats to fill the natural growth at all the schools.
The legislature's proposal funds an additional 1,000 seats over the next two years.
Led by the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN), charter school advocates gathered at the state capitol Thursday to thank legislatures for putting more money in their budgets. Here's the press release from ConnCan.
Rell has said she would veto the Democrats' proposal if it came to her desk as presented. The legislature will now negotiate the terms of a state budget, before the session ends June 3.