That said, there will always be a percentage of parents, no matter how good the schools are, that will avail themselves of choice for whatever reason. And when the Governor and Education Commissioner are hot for charters and all too happy to steamroll districts that stand in their way, you end up with these two groups of parents pitted against each other, and the charters and the districts as well.
Great, now what?
What do the parents that don't want to "avail themselves of choice" do when they see their district losing funding to support the niche wants of a select few at the expense of the majority? What do the districts that don't want to lose funds do?
A story in the New Jersey Jewish News yesterday really brings home the pickle districts are in. Debra Rubin reported that Hatikvah International Academy Charter School has filed an OPRA request to make it's host district, East Brunswick, disclose financial documents related to it's opposition to Hatikvah. East Brunswick filed a suit against Hatikvah that claimed they did not have the enrollment required to open their doors. The district lost the last round in the appellate court, but recently decided to bring the case to the New Jersey Supreme Court.
This is reminiscent of the lawsuit Princeton International Academy Charter School lost when they unsuccessfully sued the South Brunswick, Princeton and West Windsor-Plainsboro boards of education, claiming they misused public funds to prevent the opening of the charter. Davy James of the Patch reported that:
- The elementary foreign language program
- The Summer Academy for at-risk students
- 21 extra-curricular clubs
- 3 sports programs