Fair Schools Red Bank and the Latino Coalition of Monmouth County have filed a Civil Rights complaint with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education.
Civil Rights Complaint from Fair Schools Red Bank and the Latino Coalition
This is a civil rights complaint brought on behalf of Fair Schools Red Bank, a group of concerned parents of Red Bank Borough Public School students, and the Latino Coalition of New Jersey (“LCNJ”). Complainants seek to vindicate the rights of children of Red Bank, NJ to attend non-segregated schools. Because the Red Bank Charter School (“RBCS”) was founded in 1997 to mitigate white flight, Red Bank is home to the most segregated school district in the state of New Jersey, with a charter school comprised of children who are predominantly wealthy and white, and borough public schools that are predominantly poor and Hispanic and have a much larger population of English-language learners. The district is also segregated along socio-economic lines, with a much higher percentage of children qualifying for free-and-reduced lunch attending the public schools.
As outlined in the complaint below, the RBCS has defied state law that requires it to seek a cross-section of the host district’s school-aged population, and it has defied a Consent Order that requires it to use its best efforts to assure that the demographics of its students equate as closely as practicable to those of the students of the Borough of Red Bank. In addition, the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education (“Commissioner”) has refused to take any steps to stop racial segregation of the schools, as required by state law. At the same time, the administration of Governor Chris Christie and the New Jersey Legislature have funded the RBCS at a much higher level than the Red Bank Borough Public Schools, resulting in financial discrimination as well.
We respectfully ask the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education to conduct an investigation into the discriminatory impact of the RBCS’s enrollment policies, the discriminatory impact of the Commissioner’s refusal to enforce state laws against segregation, and the discriminatory impact of the school funding policies of the Christie administration and the New Jersey Legislature. We respectfully ask the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education to take any and all steps necessary to reverse the segregation (by demographics, economics, and funding) at Red Bank’s publicly funded schools. We seek the integration of the Red Bank Public Schools by creating a unified school district and assert that this cannot be done without the disbanding of the charter school.