Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Why does the HoLa Charter Administration misinform the community about their funding?"

The State funding formula is at the heart of the debate between Hoboken's district schools and Hoboken's Charter schools because the funding for Charter Schools comes directly out of the District School's budget.

This inequitable funding formula was created by the State even though the State does not fund the Charter schools and they offer NO additional funding to offset any financial impact to the home district.

There is only one pot of money and every additional Charter (resident) student's education is funded by the district budget that funds the educational needs of the district students in Calabro, Connors, Wallace, Hoboken High and Brandt school.

So when Charter enrollment increases, funding for district students decreases, regardless of the District school's enrollment.  It is this funding formula created by the State but not funded by the State that pits families against families and promotes an adversarial relationship.

So why is it that HoLa's website states that Charter schools are funded by the State?

Welcome to Hoboken Dual Language Charter School

The Hoboken Dual Language Charter School (HoLa) is an exciting new dual language charter school that opened its doors to students in grades K-2 in September 2010 (a grade will be added each year until the school reaches K-8). HoLa offers a traditional core curriculum through instruction in both Spanish and English to children of all language backgrounds. The program utilizes the well-established immersion approach to dual language education with a range of opportunities for creative expression and experiential learning. Students will become bilingual and biliterate in a culturally diverse and nurturing environment. All families are welcome; no previous exposure to a second language required! Charter schools are free public schools funded by the State and operated independently of local school districts.

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 anyones 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.

$8.3 Million of the District's $64.6 Million dollar budget is allocated to Charter Schools and an additional $10.5 Million that funds the district's PreK program.


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