Hoboken school board gets $8,150 in private donations to appeal expansion of HoLa charter school
May 11, 2015 | 5978 views | 9 9 comments | 98 98 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HOBOKEN — The Hoboken Board of Education has raised $8,150 private donations from 14 individuals so far to fund its effort to block the expansion of the Hoboken Dual Language Charter School (HoLa), according to the agenda for the board’s upcoming Tuesday, May 12 meeting.

In late March, the New Jersey Department of Education upheld its approval of HoLa’s expansion to seventh and eighth grade. At its next meeting on April 14, the Hoboken school board voted to appeal the state’s decision in appellate court but not to spend any additional taxpayer money, instead relying on private donations.

Among those donating are four of the six school board members who voted for the appeal, Jennifer Evans, Jean Marie Mitchell, Irene Sobolov, and Leon Gold. A fifth board member, Tom Kluepfel, has said publically that he plans to donate.

Other contributors include Hoboken High School teacher Christopher Munoz, Deirdre Wall and Gregory Bond, Carla Weinpahl and Daniel Weaver, and Alice and James Kocis, who gave the largest donation at $5,000.

Hoboken’s interim superintendent and a majority of its school board have argued that the state failed to enforce its own laws in approving HoLa’s expansion because it ignored alleged racial socioeconomic segregation created by the school. The state education commissioner and HoLa representatives have denied that the charter has a segregative effect.

The Hoboken school board will meet on Tuesday, May 12 at 7 p.m. in the Demarest School Auditorium, located at 158 Fourth St.

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ForAllKidz
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May 13, 2015
A school that teaches Spanish helps bring children together in a diverse community and helps children from all segements of Hoboken get along. Why deny kids the chance to progress to later grades in a progressive school like this?

I personally do not understand why the board continues to support this unpopular action. If you allocate resources for gifted programs, electives, and any other programs that provide more educational choices to certain kids, you are also allocating resources to give them more choice. Why on earth would anyone be against offering more choice?

Reform has always been for having a few more choices and the mayor is against this lawsuit. Many of the children of our leaders have chosen charter schools as an educational choice for their family.

Why be against reform and the mayor's opinion?

This is adding two grades to a school that already exists, the state has already disagreed with this lawsuit twice now. WHy not mjove on to allocating resources toward finding better solutions?

It's a divisive move.

I undestand the names were on the school agenda so if the HR went out of their way to hide them it would have looked like they were going out of their way to hide public information from the agenda that everyone is going to talk about. I actually admire those who have put their money where their mouth of because I do know some of those fighting for this cause have good hearts. Donors were aware they'd be supporting this cause and I understand they believe they are helping the district and they certainly should not be intimidated or feel bad, in fact maybe this shows they believe in what they are supporting. They simply have a difference of opinion and that is what makes Hoboken great. I happen to disagree with some of the comments though.
Charley_Algernon
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May 13, 2015
ForAllKidz - actually Hola is not diverse with very few poor kids enrolled. Therein lies one of the problems. Also, we simply do not have the money to pay for it and if we do, the children of the district school will be negatively impacted. Why would anyone parent or otherwise support the addition of 2 grades to the detriment of the public school district and every taxpayer in town? This action may not be popular among the Hola parents, but you are really being disingenuous when you suggest the action is unpopular because you have no data on all 50,000 residents. As to choice; that which we cannot afford, we cannot choose. My choice is to move to a single family brownstone up town but I can't afford it. If I went out and purchased one, I would and tried to support the mortgage and taxes that go along with that purchase, I might not be able to eat because I'd be unable to afford food.

As to invoking the Mayor...please...I have my own opinion regardless of what the Mayor (or anyone else) thinks... thank you very much.

Tottenhamwins
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May 13, 2015
If the parents of the kids at HoLa wanted to send their kids to a diverse school, HoLa would be the absolute last school they would have picked.
Charley_Algernon
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May 13, 2015
To HolaDad: Yeah, that’s one of the things about the problem with charter schools. They wave the “we’re a public school banner” when it comes to robbing the tax payers’ money, but they have none of the oversight that a public school has. No publically elected and publically accountable board members; no worker protections, etc. I call that trying to have it both ways, picking my pocket so that you can squeeze necessary funding from the public school children doesn’t endear a school to anyone.

As far as I’m concerned, the role of a teacher is one of the most important jobs in all of society and the people take on the responsibility of educating tomorrow’s leaders should be well compensated. HolaDad’s comments sound like he has a problem with teachers being paid well for their important role in our children’s lives. That’s really sad. Does he think teachers are low-wage workers? (or should be?) I don’t know if any teacher’s union or nonprofit organization is planning on contributing, but so what if they did? Not only do you HolaDad have a problem with people supporting the needs of the children in the district school but he also have a problem with anyone defending themselves and standing up for their beliefs! Truly disgraceful indeed! (oh, and – as I said earlier – I saw the previous board meeting and not one of those infant-parents said anything about teachers unions/nonprofits funding the legal action. They were specifically saying that they wanted to know the nameS of the PEOPLE that were contributing. To me it appeared like they were trying to put together an enemies list to target and a group of PEOPLE that they wanted to personally attack.

Charley_Algernon
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May 12, 2015
I watched that school board meeting where the issue of the privately funded legal action was voted on and several Hola parents were publicly commenting on how they couldn't wait to get the names of the donors. THAT is what is REALLY disgusting. It conjured up images of deranged, nut jobs with pitchforks waiting to pounce on concerned public school parents for exercising a right to support this legal action and the public school children. Normally I would have no issue with any newspaper publication printing donor names; the Hola nut jobs will certainly post them all over the Internet anyway, but because I can only characterize some of the militant Hola parents' behaviors as unbalanced, I'd be a little concerned about fanning any looney-tune vendettas.

Seriously, I get that they like their kids' school. Don't they get that they always had to find an alternative school when their kids reached the 7th Grade? Otherwise some of us might see the founders' applying for a K-5 charter in the first places as perpetrating fraud on the city of Hoboken and the state. I truly hope that some of the craziest make good on their threat (that I view as a welcome promise) to leave Hoboken if they don't get their way. Selfish people demanding my taxes pay for their kids' private school education are not the kind of neighbors that I welcome.
HolaDad
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May 12, 2015
Um...correction...your taxes pay for my child's PUBLIC school education.

Albeit I understand your confusion becuase the caliber of HoLa's education is better than that of the district schools and on par with the the true private schools that don't suffer from and out of control teachers union.

Oh, speaking of unions, that's what everyone wanted to know, if the BOE were to get anywhere near the 50k they promissed, it was expected it would be funded by the teachers union or some other anti-charter special interest group. Individuals were never a concern.

By my calculation they are now 41,850 short of what they promissed the town they could raise for the lawsuit and they have to shut it down. Because they promissed not to use any further tax money.
Sue_G
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May 13, 2015
H-Dad,

On what do you base your statement: "the caliber of HoLa's education is better than that of the district schools?" Are you referring to the teachers? The resources? The children? The curriculum? The special needs student population?

I suggest you are an elitist and idiot based on your remarks, though you may not actually be. That is simply the impression an outsider would have, particularly someone who is happy with the teachers and education their child is getting in district schools.

And "promised" is spelled with one 's' not two. I learned that in a district public school.
anonymous
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May 12, 2015
Dear hoboken reporter, that you have gone out of your way to report individual names is disgusting....and that you curiously continue to ignore the news worthy emails from beth masons associates is disturbing and telling that there is an agenda at play on your part...we have all starting to take your so called news with a grain of salt as we are not sure who is influencing your publication?
Vinniegumbotz
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May 11, 2015
Who are these people