Capital Prep’s Bridgeport Proposal

by Categorized: Earl O'Garro Jr., Schools Date:

Last week, Cityline brought you the news that Capital Preparatory Schools Inc. wants to open a charter school in Bridgeport in time for the 2014-15 academic year.

Now we have the lengthy application that the CPS management group, led by controversial Capital Prep Principal Steve Perry, submitted to the state for review: Hundreds of pages that you can peruse.

An excerpt from the proposal for Capital Prep Harbor School:

In the last academic year, 4,710 urban and suburban students applied for only 70 available seats at Capital Prep [Magnet School in Hartford]. It is this recognition that has facilitated discussions with the city of Bridgeport to support the Harbor School and allow CPS to replicate the Capital Prep model in some of the city’s lowest performing schools …. . The educational climate in Bridgeport is open to new approaches to education, making the conditions in Bridgeport ripe for introduction of the Capital Prep model.

The application states that the school’s location, identified by the city of Bridgeport, would be “the Bridgeport Technology and Trade Center, formerly the Singer Sewing Machine Company building” at 480 Barnum Ave. For the inaugural year, an estimated 250 students would attend the charter school, requiring a projected $2.9 million in expenditures, according to the proposal. (See Appendix W for 5-year budget statement.)

In the introduction, the proposal also asserts “the school’s achievement of sending 100% of its graduates to college.” Although Perry advertises that 100 percent of Capital Prep graduates have gone on to four-year colleges, he has told Cityline in the past that some of his graduates are unable to enroll because they can’t afford the high tuition. Here’s that story from 2012.

Coincidentally, that article also features Hybrid Insurance CEO Earl O’Garro Jr., who donated $10,000 to the school’s scholarship fund. O’Garro has since gotten into some hefty financial and legal trouble.

Blogger Jonathan Pelto, a major critic of Perry, has also written about Capital Prep’s charter school application.

State education department spokeswoman Kelly Donnelly told Cityline that all the applications submitted recently are being reviewed. They include a proposal from New York-based Democracy Prep Public Schools, a “no excuses” charter organization, to open an elementary school in Hartford in 2016. (That application is here.)

steve perry

Capital Prep Principal Steve Perry addresses his students. PATRICK RAYCRAFT photo.

The Courant is using Facebook comments on stories. To comment on articles, sign into Facebook and enter your comment in the field below. Comments will appear in your Facebook News Feed unless you choose otherwise. To report spam or abuse, click the X next to the comment. For guidelines on commenting, click here.