Before we get started, let's look at where the NJDOE couldn't get one through, and why.
Don't mess with TEANECKThe Garden State Virtual Academy, if approved, would have taken $15.4M out of Teaneck's budget for 1,000 students that ultimately would have been drawn from the entire state. But because the drop-in center would have been in Teaneck, and the Lead Founder was from Teaneck, the district would have footed the ENTIRE bill for the first year, until it was determined where the 1,000 students actually came from. And that wouldn't happen until October 15th, well after the school year began, which would have meant drastic cuts to the budget.
When the parents and residents of that town learned what was happening, they became a force to be reckoned with!
Check out this video.
I love the quote from Dr. Henry Pruitt at the end. At the time he was a Teaneck School Board Member, but was just recently elected to Teaneck's Town Council. He is a former teacher and principal, and he gets what is going on.
If the state wants a charter school, they should find a way to pay for it.Truer words have never been spoken Dr. Pruitt!
The citizens of Teaneck and their elected officials put so much pressure on the NJDOE, that when they held a rally at their high school, NBC New York's Brian Thompson came out to cover the event. Sadly, the video seems to no longer be available, but check out this gem on the NBC website:
The proposed budget for the Garden State Virtual Charter School calls for a small drop-in center to be located in Teaneck, but it would otherwise focus on home school students across the state.
It also projects a $4.7 million balance but does not specify what the money would be used for, or if it would be split as profit among the four listed founders, which include a lawyer, a subsitute teacher and a curriculum director for the New York City Department of Education. (emphasis mine)The application and the issues surrounding it became such a hot potato that the NJDOE cut Garden State Virtual in the middle of an application cycle, which had NEVER been done before.
So, if you can't make a statewide virtual charter work in Teaneck because the parents, residents, superintendent, school board, politicians, and press will have a field day with the ridiculousness of a $4.7 million bottom line, where can you put one?
I know, NEWARK!
- Where the Mayor is an outspoken cheerleader for everything and anything reformy.
- Where the Senator, who clearly sees what's going on in education, is bullied by the Governor.
- Where the superintendent reigns supreme over the Advisory Board, elected by the parents and residents of Newark.
- Where the state refuses to let go of it's control of the public schools, and isn't above tanking the QSAC scores to maintain it's choke hold.