Hoboken school board moves to continue lawsuit against charter school expansion to eighth grade; appeal will be privately funded
Apr 15, 2015 | 3373 views | 4 4 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HOBOKEN--The Hoboken Board of Education will continue its lawsuit against the expansion of the Hoboken Dual Language Charter School (HoLa) from six to eight grades, though it will not devote any additional public funding to the effort. In a resolution approved this past Tuesday, April 14, by a vote of 6 to 2, the board authorized its “special counsel to take any and all appropriate action to pursue appellate review” of a late March ruling by state education commissioner David Hespe upholding his office’s 2014 approval of the expansion.

After the school board filed a legal challenge to HoLa’s expansion last year, Hespe requested a second chance to review the district’s demographic data. Last month, he closed his investigation, arguing that HoLa had no segregative effect on the Hoboken school district.

Hoboken interim superintendent Dr. Richard Brockel differed with the ruling, stating that it “ignores the socioeconomic impact of the proposed expansion” and “relies on flawed census population data.” On Tuesday, a majority of the school board joined him.

A parade of HoLa parents and officials rose to speak out against the lawsuit, calling it divisive and doomed to future defeats. “Parents want choices, they don’t want a lawsuit,” said HoLa board president Barbara Martinez, “and taxpayers don’t want to keep bleeding for something that’s not going to change.”

Several of the school board candidates in November declined to support the battle against HoLa’s expansion when asked about it by the Reporter.

Martinez emphasized that, though the school board’s appeal would be funded privatey from here on out, her own school’s legal defense would continue to be funded with taxpayer money anyway, as the charter schools are considered public schools -- thus, the public is still paying toward the effort.

Twenty-one students expect to go on to seventh grade in HoLa starting in August.

According to school board counsel Marie-Laurence Fabian, the appeal process would not begin until private donations specifically designated for the lawsuit were received by the board. However, at least two school board members said they would be donating.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
April 18, 2015
Wow ForAllKids is awfully narcissistic. In case you haven't figured it out - I'm part of this so-called reform base. I'm also part of the current board majority's base. Sure, they don't necessarily know me, but they've all gotten my vote time and time again. So much for your silly idea that "most of their base" is against the lawsuit. What you really mean (although you apparently don't know it) is that most of YOUR friends are against it. The world, however, (and this city) does NOT revolve around you.
April 16, 2015
Hoboken board of education school board, time to let it go...you are going to allow someone not ethical get elected to the city council if you keep this up...this is dumb? You are dividing the reform voter base?
April 17, 2015
Anyone that urges anyone to forgo their principals on a pretext that someone not ethical will get elected in an unrelated election is not ethical in the first place. It's not dumb to stand up for what is right. It's not dumb to stand up for the children of the public school district. It's not dumb to stand up for the poor. If anyone were to vote against Giattino or Cunningham (the so-called reform side) because the current school board voted as they believe is right, I'd say that person isn't very reformy. Especially when neither Cunningham or Giattino have made any public comments on the (separate from the council) school board. How childish of this anonymous commenter to suggest such a thing. If that's the way "reform" acts, count me out.
April 18, 2015
wrong charley. maybe at this point giantino and cunningham should let their views be known. the board members are not 'doing what is right' and most of their base is against it so why keep it up? it does not help the poor or the kids in the district at this point. it merely distracts from more important reform issues and battles.