Friday, October 17, 2014

HoLa Declines to Correct Homepage?

top panel: source Hoboken Schools Blog,
bottom panel: HoLa web site home page

Well, see above. 

Boo hissGA's a meanie!

No, I am not.  I am a fan of honest debate.

So with a looming School Board race, it is curious that after at least two requests to HoLa's top banana to correct the information on it's web site stating INCORRECTLY that Charters are "funded by the state" and not out of the local tax levy, said banana has chosen to leave the misinformation there.

Strange, no?

Here's the TRUTH from a source familiar with the state funding formula:    
 All schools in NJ are funded from their local tax levy (charters included).   Aside from "Abbott" funding, a district can get only get State funds for three reasons:
  1. Special Needs students
  2. English language learners
  3. Students impacted by poverty (free or reduced lunch)
Hoboken District Schools receive a large portion of State funding because we educate students in those categories.  HoLa receives NO State funds as they do not meet state criteria for funding. 

Usually one district in a municipality, Hoboken School district has FOUR on the same local levy!
GA calls on Lynn Danzker, School Board candidate and running-mate of Brian Murray and Patty Waiters and an HoLa parent, to ensure the public that the debate about school funding will be an honest one, efforts to mislead the public on school funding will be corrected, and the serious matter of school funding will not exploited for political attacks by her campaign.

According to The Hoboken Schools Blog,  two requests to correct HoLa's website have been ignored.
 So why is it that HoLa's website states that Charter schools are funded by the State?
If you look closely at this page from HoLa's budget you can clearly see that they receive ZERO state funding.  So why is this misinformation allowed to stay on HoLa's website and mislead their parents and our community?  

I have publicly asked Executive Director Jen Sargent twice to correct this error and to post the facts. My request was ignored both times.  I will ask her a third time.  

You can see that in the budget year 2015/2016 the local contribution from the district budget to HoLa will increase from $3,074,439 to 3,423,538 an additional $349,099 for next year's budget.  I assume that this $349,000 will fund the educational costs for next year's 22 7th graders.
 
What services, programs or positions will the district schools have to cut in order to come up with the additional allocation of $349,099?  That's anyone's guess and as a district parent I am greatly concerned about it.  Pitting families against each other I'm sure was not the intent of this funding formula but what more can families do then to advocate for their children.  This can only be done when the facts are provided and not lies.

Please Ms. Sargent revise your statement to accurately reflect the truth, Charter Schools are funded by the local district budget and are not State funded.  

How about it? 

Correct the misinformation on your home page. Call up your vendor, "SharpSchool © 2004-2014 Education Web Hosting & Content Management Solutions" and have them make the correction. 

GA thinks it sets a terrible example for our kids if the educators and administrators of their schools are not honest with parents.

In fact,  the state's funding formula sucks and pits parents against each other.

ALL parents from all schools should UNITE to lobby the state together to fix the funding formula so that charter expansions don't drain district school funding.

Am I right, people?

Declining to 'put out' truth during election season to support a false narrative used by School Board candidates is simply put, unethical.

10 comments:

  1. Seriously, an honest discussion is welcome. We all know it's about taking money away from our schools and not some crock about wanting to close Hola.

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  2. But for the fact that a major plank in the Republican party is to privatize public schools, and charters are a step in that direction, HoLa would not have been given its charter or approval from Trenton to expand.

    It is and always will be a private school using public funds. When most of the kids of the initial families spoke Spanish at home, to call it a dual language school is a joke.

    If that weren't bad enough, they made an illegal deal with the City to take over the Boys & Girls Club space, disenfranchising mostly African-American children and families.

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  3. Seems obvious they want the public to think it isn't about the funding by making people think it is some magic "State" funding seperate from the Local Distirct.....nuthin to see here. They are the poor victims and the BOE is the big bully. A working statagey, why would they change it?

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  4. If the mistake was an honest one, that website would have been corrected within hours of you finding this error. Very telling that they never did so.

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  5. It is inconceivable that a charter school founder or administrator could be so ignorant about charter funding as to believe that the state funds charter schools. It’s obvious, then, that the statement on the HoLa homepage is meant to mislead and incite unwitting families and the community.

    But there’s another deception going on: Up until last year, the HoLa website always said "a grade will be added each year until the school reaches K–5." (Then last year they changed it to K–6, and they just recently changed it again to K-8.) Therefore, most of the school’s current families never had any expectation (and certainly no guarantee) to stay beyond fifth grade. So despite what they now say about how critical it is to continue bilingual education through the middle-school years, the HoLa founders must have felt K–5 was adequate to their bilingual program, otherwise they would have done what so many other charters have done: apply to be a K–8 to begin with, then start small and grow into it. Something else is at work here.

    ReplyDelete
  6. http://p1cdn4static.sharpschool.com/UserFiles/Servers/Server_20288871/File/Migration/El-semanal-092013.pdf
    Call to Action! Strengthen NJ’s Charter School Law: Please take a minute to e-mail the New Jersey
    Senate and Assembly education committee members and tell them that NJ’s charter school law must be
    updated. NJ's Charter School Act was passed in 1996 when we knew little about charter schools and the
    elements that would make the law strong. Since that time we have learned more about what makes a
    strong law, yet NJ's law does not reflect best practices. Charter school proponents and opponents alike are
    pushing for updates to the 1996 law. The NJ Charter Schools Association agrees on some aspects of what
    these changes should include, but not all. Key elements to a strong charter school law:
    • a provision for multiple authorizers
    • accountability balanced with true autonomy
    • access to facilities and facilities funding
    • per-pupil funding equity
    By adding your name to this letter and hitting send, you will ask the Senate and Assembly education
    committee members to support real charter school reform that will help NJ charter schools offer high-quality
    public education to all students.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wtf? You want to give HoLa and its ilk more autonomy and more money from the District that teaches the most disadvantaged. That's right, the children the charters can't and won't teach. You really think no one here reads before acting? You're not nearly as funny as you think.

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  7. Is there any reason to believe that the word state was used to intentionally mislead people? If it was I doubt anybody is being fooled since most people aren't schooled in the nuances of school budgeting and probably just take the word state to mean government without giving any more thought to it. I never knew or cared what taxes were used to pay for schools until I bought my house and saw school taxes broken out on my tax bill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That seems like a fair point you raise (that people might take the word “state” to mean “government”). However, the word “state,” when it comes to education — and especially in a discussion of charter schools — has enormous significance and singular meaning. The state, for instance, approves charter schools; the charter is granted by the state. Kids take the state tests. Mark Mautone was just named New Jersey State Teacher of the Year. Anyone in education, and charter people in particular, knows exactly what the word “state” means. Nobody substitutes “government,” ever.

      Regardless, if it’s not intended to be deceptive, then why not simply be precise? It’s a school, for goodness' sake — and the only one in Hoboken that boasts “language” in its name. ¡Por favor, enseñame!

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    2. If it was intended to be deceptive and is actually deceiving people then I agree that it's a real issue worth bringing to people's attention both to correct the misunderstanding and to expose the misdeed. If it wasn't intended to be deceptive and isn't misleading anyone since everyone who cares about the distinction knows how charters are funded then this seems to me to be much ado about nothing especially when we should be talking about the 3 great school board candidates who need our support in two weeks.

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