Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Losing "People Like Me"



This statement by HoLa Board President Barbara Martinez has revived questions about whether the attitude of a school's board translate into a selective admissions policy to suppress 'low income' admissions.

True or not, Martinez appears to be bartering a more-inclusive admissions policy in exchange for an uncontested expansion to the 7th and 8th grades, which the Hoboken School Board is challenging in court.  The comment suggests it is "the Hoboken Board of Education" who "wants to see a low-income preference" in admissions and not Martinez, President of HoLa's School Board.

Is that true?

I don't know.  Maybe she just pegado a su pie en la boca- and who hasn't stuck their zapato where it doesn't belong?  

To err is human...

Anyway, Martinez' offer puts into play other statements she has made which may support or contradict arguments on both sides of the pending litigation.  Such as this letter written in January 2009; according to Hoboken411 where it was posted, the letter was "sent to various members of the Board of Education, as well as the Superintendent and staff:"
“I’ve taken the past two days off of work (I’m a reporter at the WSJ) because the Hola program is so important to my family. Today I spent a lot of time outside Conners and Wallace – getting signatures of people who would be thrilled to send their kids to a dual-language immersion program. 

I met many Hispanic and African-American moms this morning whose faces lit up when I told them their children could be fully literate in two languages by the time they are in third grade. Many are planning to attend our information session this Sunday at Jubilee Center. 

 BUT I AM SO VERY CONCERNED THAT YOU ARE DECIDING TO TABLE THIS PROGRAM FOR THE TIME BEING. 


The private school my daughter attends needs to know in early February whether she will be returning in September 2009 for first grade. What am I supposed to tell them? 

By the way, they want me to give them $1,000 if I want them to hold her spot. Several weeks after that, I have to commit to a full-year’s tuition. What am I supposed to do? 

Parents in Hoboken are making their decisions for next year NOW. If you put this off again you may lose people like me. 
Yippee
My stomach has been in a knot for the past two months as the entire city debates this valuable program. 

How much more talk is needed? 

Jen and Camille have told me they are willing to walk away from the money, the contract, etc. They are stripping away all the non-essentials from their budget. There won’t be a need for an RFQ. They won’t be getting a cent. 

Why can’t we put this to bed already? 

PLEASE. Take action on this so we can get our school started. Or if the action is negative, at least we can move on with our lives and make other plans. But to make us wait like this, for no apparently good reason, is quite unnerving and cruel. 

 Sorry to sound so dramatic – but this is really something that will affect my daughter’s future. 

Thank you, 
Barbara Martinez
While Leon Gold was pilloried for his politically-incorrect remarks, comments like Martinez' "...if you put this off you will lose people like me" and "Now all our friends will stay in Hoboken!" are greeted with silence.

Why is that?

Don't shoot the messenger, folks.   This incident comes on the heels of a rumor GA just heard that Hoboken's Boys and Girls Club  fees have caused kids to leave "...in droves."

On top of that, GA was told the Boys and Girls Club Director, Margarita Garcia, also holds the position as HoLa's Aftercare and Enrichment Coordinator

How isn't this a conflict-of-interest, when the B&G Club rents space to HoLa?  The B&G Club employee, Garcia, negotiates rent with a tenant, HoLa, who (also) employs her?     They are both paid positions.   If the B&G had to hike fees beyond the affordability of the low-income kids they are supposed to serve, is Garcia really in a position to negotiate a more competitive rent with herself?

It appears to GA that some of Hoboken's poorest kids have paid "so all our friends can stay in Hoboken!"    

29 comments:

  1. When did this charging of students begin? Since Garcia's wife took over?

    How is it possible that B&G club charge fees? They are making $225,000 a year from Hola's rent. They also rent out the space to several other organizations and charge a pretty hefty fee. The Boys and Girls club only pay the city$1 a year to rent the building. The $225,000 charter income is relatively new income to the boys and girls club.

    Is the boys and girls club director trying to push kids who can't afford to pay, out the boys and girls club? Has the boys and girls club just become a real estate venture where they can make money?

    The city rents space to a club for $1 a year, intended to serve the poorest of the poor but the poorest are now being charged and can no longer afford to attend? The club instead of using it for it's intended purpose is now using it as a real estate cash cow, with a side business of taking care of a couple o fkids who can afford to pay..There has to be a way out of that lease.It obviously isn't being used for it's intended purposes.

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    1. A parent whose kid attended the B&G Club a few years ago told me there was a nominal fee: $15/year. That's far, far lower than the current fee that I was told. I will have to verify the number before I post.

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  2. Maybe seem to be following the Mr."highest bidder" Murray. Hola wins!

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  3. The question has yet to be answered of
    How the B&G club can rent out space in a building it does not own?
    What does the national B&G organization think about this?
    Isn't there some kind of rules or guidelines the local chapters have to adhere to - such as what qualifies as an affordable rate for the particular population they serve?

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  4. the threat of we will leave if we don't get our way, is getting so old. Call the bluff, let them leave. Noone is forcing them to live here.

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    1. They won't be missed.

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    2. There will be another family right behind them to fill their condo.

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  5. Wait. Are you saying the Boy's and Girls Club is receiving $225,000 a year when it's a city owned building?

    Mayor? Mayor?

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  6. Was there ever an audit done of the Boys and Girls Club? Does the national organization do this? What does the B&G Club do with this income? Are the funds separate from Hola or commingled? Do charter schools have to make their budgets public, since they do receive public funds?

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    1. Both Hola and the Boys and Girls club are private entities. Hola must provide budget data and audits as part of its contract/charter with the state p 29 starts audit issues https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8w6D79DFZy_ZHBuMzhvbk5qa0ZIV19XR1UxYjFlVFN1aVZz/edit?pli=1 .

      The Boys and Girls club while a non profit is private and records are not opra-able, unless the city has such specific agreement.

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  7. So Mrs. Carmelo is the Hola aftercare coordinator as well as the Director of the B&G club?!! What a devastating conflict of interest! So she has two paid full time jobs in the same building every day?!! Ka-Ching! What a sweet set up. I guess since Mr. Carmelo is unemployed, they need bank. Toss another job over to the Missus. What a pair of cucarachas.

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  8. A few years ago, Marguerite Garcia (Carmelo’s wife) orchestrated an after school cooking class for the Hola students and took away the use of the same stove to heat meals for the underprivileged B&G Club kids. Those kids were tossed a Rice Krispy treat instead. That was the first wave of children to move out of the B&G club and over to the Jubilee Center. Hola parents would rather pay thousands in fees for their own after school program than have their darlings mingle with the B&G Club kids. The B&G already offered an excellent after school program for only $15 a year. But, that wouldn’t work. What needed to be done was to build a separate-but-equal after school program in the same building and set the stage to push out the undesirables. Marguerite Garcia had a job.

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  9. Wow. I see Yvette Miles is a lunch aide for Hola. How times have changed. She used to be the art instructor for the B&G club after school program. I wonder how she feels serving lunch to wealthy kids than encourage creativity to the underprivileged.

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    1. she gets a pension and healthcare bennies now.

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    2. well that is what patronage mills do

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    3. Looks like after the old guard lost control of the H.B.O.E. political patronage mill they started a mini-patronage mill all their own for taxpayers to fund.


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    4. That's the way you keep things quiet. HoLa hires the B&G staff so the word doesn't get out how the B&G's been gutted. Kill the art program for poor kids, then hire the art teacher to serve lunch to "people like me." Do you need more proof than Carmelo's wife, HoLa's aftercare manager being hired to run the B&G? Fox meet henhouse.

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  10. Perhaps it is time the city just ask everyone to move out of the building and it start its own programs for children. It would probably be cheaper than how much we waste on HoLa and at least then we would have the certainty of knowing that elected officials who can get their butts voted out of office would be held accountable.

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  11. anon at 9:08, Hola is not a "private" entity, It is a "publically" funded school through local (city) taxes. The public has every right to see their budgets. How high are there administrative expenses?

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    1. No Hola is a private entity that is publicly funded. It has it's own non profit account and tax forms. If the state wanted to end it's contract with hola, the state nor city has no rights to the name or any assets accumulated by Hola. This is not up for debate or spin.

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    2. http://www.state.nj.us/education/finance/fp/cafr/search/12/6036.pdf
      from 2011-
      Functions/Programs Expenses Services Contributions Contributions

      Governmental activities:
      Instruction:
      Regular $ (916,824) $ (70,578) $ (846,246) $ (846,246)
      Support services:
      General administatrion (654,552) - $ (654,552) $ (654,552)

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    3. anon @8:32...aren't you just getting caught up in semantics? in the real world, you follow the money: if something is funded by public tax dollars, it isn't a private entity. if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

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    4. If the particular point is OPRA? I guess. But at the time, I wasn't aware that was your focus.

      Any organization approved by the state to specifically represent such interests becomes state actors and thus in most situations are applicable to opra requests.

      As listed above, charter schools are hybrid and much confusion exists, IRS issues:The issues arrive via representation (historically,pubic entities have been governed/overseen by elected boards which provide public representation). Charter schools have no elected boards nor are they appointed by elected officials, which theoretically creates a representation and definition problem related to IRS guidelines. Political pressure causes federal institutions to deal with these issues and create loopholes to make the round peg fit into the square hole.

      http://hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/18931162/article-Charter-school-employees-to-lose-retirement-benefits---Hoboken--JC-schools-protest-possible-pension-%20%20losses-?instance=secondary_stories_left_column

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  12. The California Court of Appeals (2007-01-10) which ruled that charter schools are NOT "public agents." [SEE LINK BELOW http://j.mp/wGmLtB]

    The 9th Circuit US Court of Appeals (2010-01-04) which ruled that charter schools are NOT "public actors." [SEE LINK BELOW http://j.mp/x4Y9KT]

    The courts aren't the government entities that have stated incontrovertibly that charters are private entities. So have other authoritative agencies.

    The US Census Department expressed difficulty in obtaining information from charter schools because the are NOT public entities. [SEE LINKS BELOW http://j.mp/ytdtYv http://j.mp/14i5jg2]

    The National Labor Relations Board joins a host of other government agencies that have unequivocally ruled that that charters are "private entities." [SEE LINK BELOW http://j.mp/ZdWEeg]

    Charters are one in the same with the 501C3s or other organizations running them. Here is an excerpt from one of the court cases cited above: "The Court determined the charter schools did not qualify as "public entities" under the CFCA. (Id. at p. 1203, 48 Cal. Rptr. 3d 108, 141 P.3d 225.) Because they competed with the traditional schools for students and funding, neither did the Court find them to be "governmental entities" exempt from the UCL's restrictions on their competitive practices." Moreover, nonprofits are PRIVATE sector. In many cases, businesses and industries are actually far more regulated than 501c3s. This excerpt from a Census Department Document sums this up: "A few "public charter schools" are run by public universities and municipalities. However, most charter schools are run by private nonprofit organizations and are therefore classified as private."

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  13. This "charter" system needs an overhaul. If anyone wants to create a private 501c3 organization, there is no reason why any portion of city taxes should be used.

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    1. The state approves a charter to become a state "actor".

      In essence, the state says-I have decided that YYYYY charter school will educate the students in cityX, so I will sign this contract with YYYY charter school and CityX's school board taxes will pay you. Education complete.

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  14. It was always been about "people like her" for her. She understands the economy of scale and the segragative issues and the moving of millions away from this communities poorest children and the children with special needs. She, more than most people knows exactly how it works as she does the PR for a major chain of charter schools.

    She really just doesn't care. She'll get hers F*&K everyone else. I bet her kid is in 6th grade. In a few years she will move on and won't ever glance back.

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    1. What she doesn't realize or seem to care about is her child's (and the public's) future public representation.

      "Charter schools do not have elected school boards nor any direct taxpayer accountability. They are designed to create an exodus of students from public schools into their federally-controlled “choice.

      Districts continue closing smaller neighborhood schools to keep up with their debt, more and more services are cut back, teachers are furloughed, severely hurting the function of the school and feeding the explosive exodus of students leaving the district. Neighborhood schools will crash financially."This is because officials must fund other private and charter school children who are no longer in their district, or even across state lines."

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  15. Hmm, yeah, interesting. But I'll move if you dont give me my school!

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