Within the Education Portfolio, PCLB funds strategies believed to offer the greatest likelihood for success in creating and improving K-12 educational opportunities for all students:
Combining operational freedoms and accountability, public charter schools provide a framework within which principals and teachers can create and run successful and innovative schools. PCLB has, therefore, long supported strong and growing charter school sectors in Connecticut and New York.
For example, Booker T. Washington Academy (BTWA) is a thriving charter school serving grades K-8 in New Haven, CT. BTWA was named a School of Distinction by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), and school leadership is now planning to build upon their track record of success by forming a charter management organization called Elevate Charter Schools, which will launch a second school in Danbury, CT.
Further supporting expansion of Connecticut’s charter sector, in 2022, PCLB gave seed funding to five exceptional groups who committed to responding to the CT State Department of Education request for proposals for new charter schools. These five applicants are incredibly diverse, ranging from Hebrew Public Charter Schools for Global Citizens (a network of exceptional, diverse public charter schools that teach Modern Hebrew to children of all backgrounds and prepare them to be successful global citizens) to REACH Academy Charter School (an independent charter school in Buffalo, NY that teaches the values of service, leadership, character, citizenship, and effective communication skills through a hands-on authentic learning environment).
Thoughtfully crafted public policies enable great public schools to proliferate and thrive. PCLB supports organizations that advocate for effective education policies and practices, with a particular focus on ensuring that all schools are funded in a fair and sensible way. For example, the School and State Finance Project helps make unbiased information on school funding more readily available, to inform better policy decisions. And organizations like ConnCAN, the Connecticut Charter Schools Association, Educators for Excellence, and FaithActs for Education support their members in calling for better funding systems and other critical education policies.
Great teachers are essential to student success. PCLB supports programs that recruit, prepare, and retain high-quality schoolteachers. In an example of this work, PCLB funded the statewide launch of Educators Rising in Connecticut to provide coursework, resources, and mentorship to any high schooler considering teaching and to build the strongest possible educator workforce.
PCLB supports motivated students who have achieved academic and social success in accessing opportunities that they might not otherwise have had through college. For more information on PCLB’s Scholarship Fund, click here.