Tonight the Lakewood School Board Will Approve A Budget It Can’t Pay For.

Later today at its public meeting the Lakewood Board of Education will approve a budget of $204 million that assumes the state will kick in a loan of $60 million. In addition, the Board will request that Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet defer the repayment of prior year DOE loans. The Board will also approve attorney Michael Inzelbuch’s annual compensation of $750,000. A few notes: If the State approves the $60 million loan, Lakewood’s unpaid annual …

Education Law Center Nails Problems with the DOE’s Emergency Changes For Special Education Students.

Tomorrow morning the New Jersey State Board of Education will hold its first-ever Skype public meeting due to COVID-19. The first item on the Board’s agenda will be a proposal by Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet that allows schools, during this State of Emergency, to provide services to students with disabilities on virtual platforms. Education Law Center will be there to quibble. And everyone’s right. Quick backstory: When districts abruptly closed, some shut down all remote …

New Jersey’s School Funding Formula Unfairly Privileges Some Not-So-Poor “Abbott” Districts.

This is a guest post by @stateaidguy who blogs at New Jersey Education Aid, where this piece was first published in slightly different form. Over the last 35 years, New Jersey’s 31 Abbott districts — which, by order of a series of State Supreme Court rulings, receive high levels of funding — have become increasingly disparate. If New Jersey’s school funding formula (SFRA) was anchored in reality, many of these districts would no longer be …

In the Charter-Schools-Cause-Segregation Lawsuit, Will A Bogus Argument Win Over Truth?

The notice at the bottom of this post was sent yesterday to all districts, charter schools, and hybrid renaissance schools by the Superior Court of New Jersey. The content is about the lawsuit pressed by the Latino Action Network that charges that New Jersey’s schools are unconstitutionally segregated and that charter schools are the primary cause for this injustice. Here, Judge Mary Jacobson fulfills her promise last month: All schools — not just charters — …

The Hidden Agenda Behind The Segregation Lawsuit (Plus a Personal Disclosure)

On Friday Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson made an important ruling in a lawsuit filed against the State of New Jersey by the New Jersey Coalition for Diverse & Inclusive Schools (NJCDIS), the Latino Action Network, and NAACP New Jersey State Conference. The lawsuit charges that New Jersey’s school districts are unacceptably segregated (they are) and proposes several remedies, including district consolidation, expansion of magnet schools, expansion of the state’s program that allows students to …

NJEA’s “Spider Web of Political Power”: A New Report Examines NJEA’s Ring Through Murphy’s Nose

Last Friday Mike Lilley of the Sunlight Policy Center of New Jersey published a lengthy report called “A Spider Web of Political Power and Influence: How A Vast Network of Allies Helps the NJEA Dominate New Jersey Politics.” Don’t be put off by the length: While 87 pages, the last 57 are indices and other documentary material and it’s worth reading in its entirety. For me, Lilley’s carefully sourced analysis validates a topic I’ve covered …

Here’s A (Hot Off The Press) Letter From 8 Charter Schools Correcting Education Law Center’s False Assertions.

Last week I wrote about Education Law Center’s attempt to close down preschool programs for low-income children run by charter schools in Abbott districts. Today the eight charter schools, as well as New Jersey Charter School Association and New Jersey Children’s Foundation, sent the following letter to Cary Booker, the Department of Education’s Assistant Commissioner for Early Childhood, correcting misinformation provided by ELC Executive Director David Sciarra. December 18, 2019  Cary Booker, Assistant Commissioner – …

Education Law Center’s New Lawsuit For Abbott District Construction Is Based On A Reality That Is 40 Years Old.

This is a guest post by Jeffrey Bennett, who blogs at New Jersey Education Aid. It originally appeared in ROI. Nearly 40 years ago, in February 1981, the Education Law Center launched on behalf of poor, urban districts statewide what would become the most educationally and budgetarily consequential lawsuits in New Jersey history: Abbott v. Burke. Although former Education Commissioner Fred G. Burke is long departed, and the close identification of “poor” with “urban” has ceased to …

Four Ways that Education Law Center Reveals Its Hypocrisy.

Education Law Center is having a temper tantrum. In a letter to the New Jersey Department of Education, the law group, which operates as an arm of NJEA, calls for “the NJ Department of Education (NJDOE) to immediately end the unauthorized practice of allowing charter schools in poor urban Abbott districts to operate separate preschool programs outside the districts’ universal ‘Abbott Preschool Program.’” Why? Because “only Abbott districts are allowed to operate high-quality preschools” and the …

Education Law Center’s Footprint Shrinks as It Ignores the Needs of Charter School Students.

Ah, Education Law Center. Some things never change. The organization, largely funded by NJEA, is back in court demanding money for construction for an obsolete list of 31 “Abbott” school districts that were once impoverished. Some of them still are, like Newark and Camden and Trenton. Some of them never were, like Burlington City and Pemberton. And some were once poor but now boast multi-million dollar luxury co-ops, like Hoboken and Jersey City.  But here’s …