Hoboken Board of Ed Opposes Proposed Charter School
A group of Hoboken parents is looking to start a science based charter school.
A group of Hoboken parents are one step closer to obtaining a charter from the Department of Education to found the new, science based DaVinci Charter School, after making it through the first round of the application process.
The Hoboken Board of Education, meanwhile, is opposing the new school.
"The opening of this charter school would not be in the educational or financial interests of our school district," states Tuesday night's school board meeting agenda. "The Board opposes the application of the DaVinci Charter School and endorses any and all appropriate action taken by the Superintendent of Schools to challenge the same."
Laura Siegel, one of the ten founding parents of the proposed school, said that such a resolution from a district is not unusual. The board's resolution is not binding. The ultimate decision will be made by the state.
The main reasons for a district to oppose the addition of the Da Vinci school are funding and enrollment. Charter schools receive money from the district—more charter schools means a tighter budget for the public schools—and potentially prevent enrollment in the public schools from going up.
Charter schools are public, but students are admitted by way of a lottery. The schools are run privately, and are—besides tests and other state wide requirements—independent from the local Board of Education.
For Siegel, starting the school is a matter of adding another choice to Hoboken's educational landscape. She said the founders hope to "bring together a range of members of the community."
Hoboken currently has three charter schools, Elysian, Hoboken Charter and Spanish dual language school, HoLa. It's still unclear where DaVinci will be located. The Monroe Center is one viable location, Siegel said.
Founders and volunteers of DaVinci will attend Tuesday night's meeting to show their support for the school and try to tell the board members that the community supports the new school, Siegel said.
Now that the school's application has made it past the first round of review, the founders just have to wait, Siegel said. Siegel said they will find out if the charter is approved by September of this year. The school—pending approval from the state—is scheduled to open in September, 2013.
"I wish I had stronger science education," Siegel said. "More and more good jobs will be in that field."