Some may be surprised at what was argued yesterday in the Hoboken BoE v. NJDOE/Hola Appellate hearing.
Simply put, the Appellant (Hoboken BoE) was not asking the Court to 'undo' the HoLa expansion. The Appellant argued that the NJDoE Commissioner did not follow settled law in his analysis of the the segregative impacts on Hoboken public education when he approved HoLa's expansion and renewal.
What did the Appellant ask of the court?
To remand the case back to the NJDOE, for the Commissioner to perform the lawful, thorough analysis that was not done on HoLa's initial application.
While this does not 'undo' the approval, it would set a precedent statewide going forward on the process of approving Charters in New Jersey.
After the hearing, GA asked the ACLU amici, Avi Frey of the ACLU to explain the significance of "winning" our Appeal. Frey replied:
“It is critically important that the Appellate Division remand this case with instructions that the Commissioner perform a meaningful assessment of HoLa’s racial impact on Hoboken’s District Schools in accordance with settled law. This would set a precedent detailing the Commissioner’s obligations regarding the racial impact of charters State-wide and at all stages of their life cycle, a result that would allow charters to achieve their original purpose in New Jersey as an innovative means of improving public education. Absent such a decision, however, there is no question that the Commissioner of Education will continue to perform only the most perfunctory analysis of racial impact relative to charters, as happened in this case. If that result ensues, charters will, through no fault of their own, realize the worst fears of their detractors as vehicles for private prejudice and an additional cause of racial segregation in public education in a State that can scarce afford it.”There you go folks.
This Appeal will turn on whether or not the Court agrees that the NJDOE Commissioner did not (or did not) follow settled law when approving HoLa's application for expansion and renewal.
The decision could go any way. Stay tuned.