Please stop the lawsuit
Jun 15, 2014 | 1669 views | 4 4 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Dear Editor:

The Hoboken Board of Education is planning to vote to increase its litigation expenses to fight HoLa’s expansion to 8th grade to $50,000 from $20,000. Another week where rather than bring parents and board members together to brainstorm and create training, curriculum, and programs to help the teachers and students succeed, energy is spent to shut down a program that is doing something right for education and for children.

Is it easier to create success in a smaller school sure, but we can make HHS better and rather than partner with the community at large to share experience, knowledge, and best practices so that Hoboken High School can get better, the energy and resources are spent placing blame rather than collaborating.

HoLa is an example of how creativity, the arts, dual language can challenge the students while engaging them at the same time. To give my child an opportunity to learn in two languages is a gift and one we are so grateful to have in Hoboken. Let's use all the learnings in our community, each school has different expertise, allow for diversity in curriculum and then take the best of all of these programs and create an award winning best in class high school, this is very much achievable if the commitment to collaborate and learn from each other is at the core.

To parents across Hoboken and to our local and state politicians please help HoLa continue to educate our children and lets all work together to show New Jersey that Hoboken is not only a town that appears on the top 10 lists of great places to live but has an educational system that makes those top ten lists as well.

Jen Branco
Hoboken Resident, HoLa parent

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Pam Greyson
June 15, 2014
I'm not sure you understand the underlying problem here. I agree that collaboration and everyone working together would result in a solid successful school district. Unfortunately Hoboken is divided, the public schools cannot be successful if funding continues to be cut. Basically you are saying is that it's okay to cut public school programs and potentially have over crowded classrooms so your kids can learn another language and continue to be at Hola. The public schools have great teachers and a solid curriculum and children with similar demographics to the charter schools attending the public schools perform exceptionally well without boot camps or tutors. A unified school district with involved parents will result in a top school. Until hoboken families realize that, we will be in the same predicament.
Bob Conrad
June 18, 2014
To be clear, I am very much in favor of a high quality public education system in Hoboken - who wouldn't be? The problem with the argument that charter schools are forcing budget cuts that will undermine the quality of our public schools overlooks one very important point - we already spend roughly $24k per student in the public school system, which is far greater than state, national and county averages. The money is there (too much, apparently), but we have chosen to allocate it to resources that are not providing the quality of education a growing segment of Hoboken parents want for their children. We have grown so accustomed to "this being the way things are in Hoboken," that we forget to look at how we are spending, instead focusing on how changes will impact an entrenched, bloated base. While I agree with Ms. Greyson's comments about the need for unity and involved parents, there is also a need for some self-evaluation of how we can better spend our $60m school budget - there should be enough to go around.
June 15, 2014
Gadzooks! The title of this letter refers to a law suit! My dear Ms. Branco, you can't possibly be so uninformed as to not be aware that the thing to which you refer is a petition, not a law suit, now can you? And I for one am happy to have 50K of my tax dollars spent in the short one to prevent 100s of thousands more of my tax dollars being syphoned out of my wallet over time and forever more. Tell me Ms. Branco, did the Hola spin machine come up the phrase "diverse curriculum?" I have to admit, that's pretty clever. So, if the demographic of the children attending Hola isn't diverse, the so-described "diverse curriculum" makes everything ok, is that the point, Ms. Branco? Stop begging Ms. Branco, your pleas to parents and elected representatives is just more self-righteous maneuvering that deserves no support from any of us.
June 15, 2014
Say it ain't so Joe !

Sorry but when Carmelo Garcia's close political buddy writes this sort of letter I have to discount it as malarky and self interest.