The rally will have a twofold purpose: to protest the inequities in state funding of charter schools and celebrate the existence of charter schools.
Several Hudson County-based charter schools will participate in the rally. Currently, there are 10 in the county - eight in Jersey City and two in Hoboken.
The rally comes after the Jersey City City Council, at its Wednesday meeting, approved a resolution by a 7-1 vote supporting the application of the Ethical Community Charter School, a proposed Jersey City-based charter school, to the New Jersey Department of Education.
The state had earlier denied an application for that school to open this fall.
Making the trip down to Trenton will be Shelley Skinner, director of development and outreach at the Learning Community Charter School on Canal Street in Downtown Jersey City.
"This rally, I think, will show the demand for charter schools is going strong," Skinner said.Supporting a charter school
The resolution for the Ethical Community Charter School, which was first tabled at the April 23 City Council meeting, was discussed at Monday's caucus where three representatives for the school - Peter Sommer, Ann Wallace, and Ed Goodall - addressed the council.
The school, if its charter (submitted in March) is approved by the state's Department of Education this year, can open in September 2009. The school would start with six classes of students enrolled in kindergarten and first grade, a total of 120 students in the school's first year.
In following years, new classes would be formed up to the fourth grade, as outlined in the school's charter.
The school can renew their initial charter with the state for another five years, which could mean expansion up to eighth grade.
An application to open the school was submitted to the state in August of last year only to be rejected in January.
At the caucus, council members including Steve Lipski (founder of CREATE Charter High School in the Greenville section), Steven Fulop, and City Council President Mariano Vega expressed support for the charter school. But City Councilwoman Viola Richardson expressed concerns about the potential socioeconomic and ethnic student makeup of the school.
By Wednesday's meeting, Richardson changed her mind and voted for the resolution, citing constituents living in the Bergen-Lafayette area she represents showing interest in enrolling their children in the school when it opens.
The only councilperson who voted against the resolution was Councilwoman-At-Large Willie Flood, a former teacher in the Jersey City public school system. On the money
Skinner, who also sits on the board of the New Jersey Charter Public Schools Association, said the association organized the rally primarily to deal with the state's recent school funding reform for the upcoming 2008-2009 school year.
Specifically, the new formula was supposed to guarantee funding equal to 90 percent of the funding designated per pupil enrolled in public schools in the respective district. However, it does not appear to do so. Skinner said, for example, Learning Community is receiving $10,300 per pupil for the upcoming school year, which is a little over 60 percent of the $16,956 to be allotted for students in the Jersey City school district.
However, Jersey City Board of Education President William DeRosa, in a letter to the City Council last week, said charter schools are siphoning money that could fund public schools. Sidebar Hudson County charter schools
The following charter schools are located in Hudson County:
*CREATE Charter High School, Lembeck Street, Jersey City
*Elysian Charter School, Garden Street, Hoboken
*Hoboken Charter School, Fourth Street, Hoboken
*Jersey City Community Charter School, Danforth Avenue., Jersey City
*Jersey City Golden Door Charter School, Ninth Street, Jersey City
*Learning Community Charter School, Canal Street, Jersey City
*Liberty Academy Charter School, Sherman Avenue, Jersey City
*Schomburg Charter School, Grand Street, Jersey City
*Soaring Heights Charter School, Romar Avenue, Jersey City
*University Academy Charter High School, West Side Avenue, Jersey City - RK Comments on this article can be sent to email@example.com.