Public school officials say Hoboken charters sap funding from lower income and minority students

HoLa Charter School in Hoboken offers something most

HoLa Charter School in Hoboken offers something most New Jersey schools do not - dual language learning. (Credit: News 12 New Jersey)

HOBOKEN - A battle over charter schools in Hoboken has emerged as the city's demographics evolve, and residents say some public schools aren't keeping up.

HoLa Charter School in Hoboken offers something most New Jersey schools do not - dual language learning.  The emersion school teaches in both English and spanish.    

"The education we provide here is something you can't get anywhere else," says HoLa Board of Education President Barbara Martinez.

In 1997, charter school legislation was set up to give parents in New Jersey that choice, according to Martinez. In recent years, that choice has kept some families from leaving Hoboken for the suburbs. But public school administrators say charters come at a cost to every other child in town. 

Gary Enrico, of the Hoboken Education Association, says charter schools are eating away at the public school budget. "They say they're part of public school system but they are not," he says. "They want to have [their]  own little school funded by public money."

Enrico says more than $8 million of their $62 million budget funds the three charter schools in town. He says charter schools are creating a segregated school system. He adds that public schools are teaching mostly minority and low-income students and charters are filled with more affluent white children.   

Martinez dispels that theory, saying there is no segregation. Students are chosen through a state-mandated lottery and all families are encouraged to apply.  

As for funding, Martinez says the money follows the children, which is appropriate since the school is taking on their education. "HoLa serves 10 percent of the Hoboken School District and we only spend 4.6 percent of the overall dollars," she says.

Both sides are in a battle over expanding HoLa. The school currently has state approval to expand into the eighth grade. Hoboken school officials have  appealed that decision, saying more charter school classes will only hurt the kids left in public school.  

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

The Majestic Lanes bowling alley was damaged when 1 Driver crashes into Woodbridge bowling alley
News 12 Long Island's Doug Geed takes a 2 Tasty Tuesday: Fresh spring ingredients
Actress Andrea Martin speaks to News 12's Elisa 3 Interview: Andrea Martin
Computer issues have prevented some Newark city employees 4 Computer issues prevent Newark city employees from being paid
Mikayla Raji, 8, paid for a Jamesburg police 5 Girl whose father was killed in line of duty buys officer dinner

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

It's good to know you have Walt Kane Kane in Your Corner

It's good to know you have Walt Kane in your corner.

News 12 takes a look at the hottest Tech Check

Eric Landskroner has a look at the latest gadgets and biggest stories in tech.

News 12 On the Scene

Check out these exclusive videos from New Jersey celebs!

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE