“In America, your zip code or your socioeconomic status should never determine the quality of your education.”
Secretary of the U.S. Education Arne Duncan
GOVERNOR MALLOY SIGNS LAW TO STOP FELONY ARREST OF PARENTS FOR SCHOOL RESIDENCY/ZIP-CODE LAW VIOLATIONS Read More>>
During the pre-civil rights movement, parents from a variety of backgrounds stepped forward and bore the consequences of legal action in the hopes of achieving educational equality and equity for their children.
Eventually, court decisions began to provide some measure of equality. On May 17, 1954, in Brown v. Board of Education, the United States Supreme Court declared that having separate public schools for black and white students was unconstitutional.
In Connecticut, the first discriminating zip code law was passed in 1833, when Connecticut lawmakers passed the "Black Law" that forbade colored girls from crossing state lines to attend the country’s first and only integrated school, at that time, founded by Prudence Crandall, a Quaker from Canterbury Connecticut.
With the Connecticut Parent’s Union leading the charge, parents and civil rights groups and education advocates across the country have joined forces to create the “END Unjust Zip-Code Education Laws Campaign” to raise awareness about public school residency laws that determine which children will have access to safe and high quality schools and which children will not!
Furthermore, school residency /zip-code education laws strip parents of their rights to choose the best educational option for their children If a parent chooses a school outside of their zip-code they may face a felony arrest and heavy-handed prosecution.
A parent’s right to choose a safe and quality education for their children is not a crime!
For the many parents that face felony arrest for fighting school residency restrictions, a vast majority of them do not fight the system for fear of retaliation.
The most recent U.S. Census shows that the lifetime income difference between a high school graduate and a college graduate is roughly $1 million.
Lawmakers and others in a position to affect policy must examine these residency laws in order to ensure that parents have access to school choice so all American children have an equal opportunity to a safe and quality public education regardless of their zip-code.
"END Unjust Zip-Code Education Laws" Awareness Campaign
- Philadelphia- July 8, 2013: Pre-trial hearing for Mr. and Mrs. Hamlet Garcia, an Hispanic family arrested for Kindergarten "educational theft" for their 5 year old daughter. For the sake of closure, with two months left in the school year, the Garcia family offered to pay the school tuition. The school district refused to accept the tuition so that an "example" can be made to parents who desire to give their kids a safe and quality education when none exist in their neighborhood.
- Connecticut - July 24, 2013: Federal Court to hear oral arguments addressing unconstitutional zip-code laws related to Marie Menard, a Stratford grandmother who was arrested for "educational theft" for stealing a free public education for her three grandchildren. Note: She is a home owner & taxpayer in the town she was arrested.
- Washington D.C. – Howard University August 31, 2013 (Tentative Date)
- New Jersey
- New York – Columbia University or Medgar Evers College