Privatization Deal Ends

Now that New Haven is ending another attempt to have outside private companies run a public school, a decision looms about what will happen with a group of teens come next fall.

That decision looms in the wake of a decision announced Thursday to end a contract between the school district and private company called Domus to run an alternative middle school called Domus Academy.

“As we pivot forward and as we review the core needs of the District I believe we need to adjust our programming at this time and reinvest in other alternatives for this population of students,” schools Superintendent Reggie Mayo is quoted as saying a press release announcing the decision.

The question now is what happens next to the program, which is housed on Ella Grasso Boulevard. The program serves sixth to eighth-graders who weren’t succeeding in traditional schools.

With some of the students graduating to high school, under 20 students remain in the program. In coming weeks the school district will weigh whether to keep the program going, either under New Haven Public Schools management or under another outside “partner”; or whether to send the remaining students to other programs.

The contract with Domus was part of an effort to explore privatized experiments as part of the first wave of school reform in New Haven. A similar deal with a charter-school company called Renaissance fell apart in 2014 at Clemente school in the Hill.

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