The Board of Education was scheduled to vote on Tuesday to send Toback's letter to Trenton, but he pulled the letter from the agenda when parents of children at the HoLa Charter School complained.
HoLa is seeking to expand to seventh and eighth grade, and Toback wrote a letter saying he is concerned that the charter schools in the district are taking too much money away from the other schools. He also said he believes the schools are causing racial "segregation," according to the resolution that was to be voted on by the board Tuesday night.
Toback's letter was meant to criticize the charter school's expansion, but it also expressed concerns with the charter schools in general.
Mayor Zimmer, who has two children in a different charter school in town, said in a statement Thursday, “I firmly believe that a strong relationship between the charter schools and Hoboken High School and other grade levels could strengthen our entire public school system. I do not believe that the charter schools and the district need to be in competition. Instead they should be working together to create synergies that benefit everyone.”
Zimmer said that she was reviewing the school’s application to the Department of Education and had requested supplementary information from Toback.
“I understand his letter may be revised,” she said, “and I look forward both to receiving more information and the revised letter.”
Meanwhile, Toback is set to meet with HoLa representatives in the hopes of coming to a compromise over the future of charter school in Hoboken. The chair of the school’s board of trustees welcomed the discussion, but said that parents at the school were still concerned.
“We’re looking forward to a discussion,” she said. “But we expect that the superintendent is going to send the letter opposing our expansion and our parents will advocate for our school accordingly.”
For a longer story on the struggle between HoLa and the Board of Education, pick up a copy of this weekend’s Hoboken Reporter or check www.hudsonreporter.com on Sunday morning. – Dean DeChiaro