Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Advocates: End the “bitter irony” of robbing poor students to pay for charters |

Advocates: End the “bitter irony” of robbing poor students to pay for charters |:

Advocates: End the “bitter irony” of robbing poor students to pay for charters

Lawyers for Newark’s public school children have asked New Jersey’s  appellate courts to block the Christie Administration’s effort to nearly double charter school enrollment in the state’s  largest school district, warning the increased privatization of the city’s schools would deepen the system’s fiscal crisis, increase racial isolation, and deprive the neediest public school students of essential services.
The Education Law Center (ELC) is seeking to reverse a decision by former state Education Commissioner David Hespe to allow seven charter schools to increase  enrollments by 8,499 students over the next five years–putting about half of all students in the privately-operated but publicly funded  charters. Public money is taken from the regular schools to pay for students in the privately-operated charters.
And the half of the 36,000 Newark students remaining in traditional public schools would face a bleak future of increased need and reduced funding.
“The dramatic expansion of charter school enrollment authorized by the Commissioner will continue the substantial decline in funding available in  the NPS”–Newark Public Schools–“budget to educate students attending NPS schools,” the ELC brief in opposition to charter expansion charged.
“The loss of funding will exacerbate an ongoing NPS budget crisis, further diminishing the availability of classroom teachers, support staff and other resources essential to delivering a constitutionally-mandated thorough and efficient education.”

Booker and Christie wanted to make Newark “the charter capital.”

The brief also warned that expanding the charter schools would “also increase a pattern of segregating high concentrations of high-risk students in NPS schools, namely, students with disabilities and English language learners (‘ELL’). Those students require additional funding and resources for a thorough and efficient education, putting added strain on the NPS budget. Further, the expansion will perpetuate the intense racial isolation of Newark students in an already de facto segregated district.”
The brief also accuses Hespe, who has resigned and been replaced by interim 

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