Is Hoboken Anti-Charter School?

Hoboken Anti-Charter School? Some folks think so

Over the years, we’ve heard many tales about how the “reform” folks over at the city “Board of Education” have not been too keen on the rapid expansion of various charter schools in Hoboken. Somehow, it apparently takes some of the “thunder” and attention away from the “official” city-run “educational” system.

But regardless, the charter schools are probably playing a huge role in any remaining economic viability in this town, as many parents would be out of their mind to send their kids to one of the worst school districts in the state. That said, some parents believe the Hoboken BoE is vehemently anti-charter school at this point.

Board of Education in Hoboken Anti-charter school according to parents

Hoboken wants to revoke HoLa Charter?

One of the schools in the crosshairs of the Hoboken Board of Education is apparently the HoLa Dual Language Charter School.

A Hoboken parent emailed Hoboken411 recently – and wants to shine some light on an developing situation.

First, take a look at this letter from the “Commissioner,” and then read what the resident said:

“Did you know about the Hoboken School Board trying to keep HoLa charter school from expanding and ultimately revoking their charter?

Here’s the link to the line in the agenda for Tuesday night: boarddocs.com/nj/hoboken/Board.nsf/Public

In the agenda it’s clear that it’s a funding issue.

However, the Superintendent is assuming that schools like HoLa are taking away from his programs.

They are not. Many families would have moved out years ago if not for the educational opportunities that charter schools like HoLa offer residents.”

Do you think the Hoboken Board of Education in Hoboken is “playing with fire?” Letting egos get in the way of educational options and advancement for families here in town?

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5 Comments on "Is Hoboken Anti-Charter School?"

keenobserver
Member
keenobserver

I think you’ve got it exactly right about KF, showme. KF says over and over that they’re the reform group, so newcomers end up believing it. And even though KF has two old guard members on the board now (Sobulov and Markel), it was started by a newcomer and most of its board members have been newcomers, so newcomers have instinctively sided with it without ever really checking it out.

The charter schools could surely use more transparency, as you say. But aren’t their board meetings open to the public? And we know exactly how much they spend per pupil because it’s set by the state and comes out of the Hoboken public schools budget — $10,000 to $11,000 or so per year. That’s far below the $26,000 that the public schools spend, so I’m pretty confident that not a lot of money is being wasted by the charters, though I’m sure trims can always be made.

With diversity, the numbers that Toback has put out actually show that the three charters are much more diverse than the public schools and match the makeup of the city much more closely. K-12 in the public schools are 80-85% minority, and that’s certainly not the city population, or the state or US population.

showme789
Member
showme789
I’m a newcomer and I can tell you my opinion as to why newcomers, even those with kids in the charter schools, keep voting for KF. Simply put, most newcomers have fallen into the trap of believing that KF is a reform group and that they actually have the best interest of the kids at heart. Those of us who pay attention know that KF is a bunch of nasty, angry haters who will do anything to prevent anyone from doing anything positive. They talk a good story, but their actions prove otherwise. That being said, I do believe that charter schools in Hoboken need to be more transparent with how they spend my money, how their students are selected and how they select their board members. If you’re spending my tax dollars you should be accountable. I was at the BOE meeting last night and I listened to the Hola parents dance around the issue of the lack of diversity in their school. Publish the numbers…show the public how diverse you really aren’t!!! I also learned last night that an Hola board member is going to be the new Director of the school. Isn’t that cozy? I remember when I moved here, the BOE selected one of their members to be the superintendent and the reformers went ballistic. Will there be the same outcry over the Hola appointment? Since my tax dollars are being used to pay this person. shouldn’t the selection process have been open to the public… Read more »
keenobserver
Member
keenobserver
Kids First has always been virulently anti-charter school. It fought Hola from the beginning and opposed its expansion last year. Hola expands by one grade each year so KF will fight them until the school is k-8. KF and the head charter-school hater, Schools Superintendent Mark Toback, took their opposition to Trenton to block a new charter school here last year, the one that would have been focused on science and math. Mayor Zimmer backed this effort, even though her own kids went to a charter school. KF and Toback won that fight and so the town is left with just three charter schools, all with long waiting lists. Part of this opposition is based on the feeling that it’s easier to somehow force kids into the public schools rather than attract them by actually making the schools better. Another part of the opposition is based on the belief that charter schools somehow hurt the public school budget. But this is nonsense because with all the massive waste in the public school budget, the public schools cost us 2.5 times per student what the charter school kids cost. If every kid were in a charter school, we would save millions! The one mystery about KF’s long and very public opposition to charter schools is why KF keeps getting reelected. KF’s support comes almost entirely from newcomers, and the vast majority of newcomer parents have their kids in charter schools. So why are the newcomers voting against their own interests year… Read more »
showme789
Member
showme789

Why is it that these charter schools are spending my tax dollars but I don’t get to vote on their budgets or elect their board members? Doesn’t seem right. Shouldn’t they be held to the same standards as the regular schools? If I read the letter correctly, the charter schools don’t seem to be doing too well when compared to similar schools. What kind of accountability do we get from them? Are their board meetings televised? This article and the letter from Mr. Toback seem to raise more questions that we taxpayers need answered.

camel2
Member
camel2

Not surprising because it’s not all Kids First.

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