HoLa, NJCSA Applaud DOE’s Decision to Approve Expansion to 8th Grade; Shakes Head at BOE Lawsuit

What happened?
On March 28, 2014 the NJ DOE approved Hoboken Dual Language Charter School, or HoLa’s, application for a five year renewal of its charter, which would include expansion to 8th grade (the school currently serves K-6). Okay…

So what’s the problem?
Less than one month later, the Hoboken School District filed suit with NJ Superior Court Appellate against both HoLa and the Department of Education calling the state’s March approval of the expansion of the charter school and renewal of its charter “not valid” because the acting commissioner of the Department of Education, David Hespe, was not the one who actually made the decision—the suit alleged that Evo Popoff “unequivocally stated that he made the determination.” It also claimed HoLa would/does have a segregative effect on the community.

What happened next?
Nearly a year after the initial decision, the DOE sent a letter to HoLa a 4-page letter affirming their initial decision: HoLa is renewed with its expansion for a period of five years through June 30, 2019.  Oh, and did we mention that the DOE also affirmed HoLa does not and will not have a segregative effect on the Hoboken District? That, too. Olé, HoLa!

But what now?
Despite the State Department of Education’s review, the Hoboken Board of Education is moving to continue their lawsuit with “private” dollars. But no one–outside of the Hoboken Board of Ed–is buying it.

So, what are people saying?
The NJCSA applauds the DOE’s decision in continuing support for a high-quality education for every child. And parents are saying…

  1. I like that HoLa celebrates diversity. We are from Egypt and a lot of students are from Hispanic backgrounds and many other backgrounds. The diversity of backgrounds is one of the great things about HoLa. –Iman Haddia, Mother with son in 6th grade
  2. We love [HoLa]… There’s more discipline, and the teachers are so engaged and I like that they teach things that they can apply to real daily life… What father wouldn’t want that type of education for their child? I don’t understand the position of those who want to limit HoLa’s growth. It’s very sad. –Manuel La Rosa, Father of 6th grade twin daughters
  3. As a single mother my sole purpose in life is to make sure my children have access to a good education so that their choices in life are endless. I believe wholeheartedly that HoLa will prepare Gabriel for that path to success. No one has the right to take that away from him. –Yoselly Ramos, Single mother with 6th grade son

The Takeaway
HoLa received their renewal with expansion; parents and the NJCSA are pleased; and, anti-charter groups continue to look for ways to steal possibilities from those who need them most.


About New Jersey Charter Schools Association

Formed in 1999, the New Jersey Charter Schools Association (NJCSA) is a 501(c)(3) membership association that represents the state’s charter school community and, by extension, charter school students and their parents. We are committed to advancing quality public education for New Jersey’s children through quality public charter schools, with the vision that every child in the State of New Jersey should have the opportunity to attend a high-quality public school that best meets his or her needs.
This entry was posted in Achievement Gap, Hoboken, School Choice and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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