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N.Y. and Conn. Team up to Launch Charter School Network

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The New York Charter Schools Association and the Connecticut Charter Schools Association will be merging into a new group—the Northeast Charter Schools Network, the organizations announced today.

Bill Phillips, the former president of the New York Charter Schools Association, will become the president of the new association. Michael Sharpe, who led the Connecticut Charter Schools Network, will join the network's board of directors. The new association will support almost 200 schools between the two states.

The move was in part a response to Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy's push for charter legislation that helped close funding gaps between district and charter schools, the organizations said.

Last year, Gov. Malloy, a Democrat, led a successful effort to pass several changes to state education policy, including laws affecting charter schools in the state. The changes included new performance evaluations for teachers and principals, requirements for teacher tenure to be linked to "effectiveness," two new charter schools for English-language learners, as well as additional funding for charter and magnet schools.

Phillips affirmed the new association's commitment to protecting the new pro-charter laws in Connecticut, citing recent budget cuts in the state as attempts to "whittle away last year's gains."

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