Press Release: Red Bank Public Schools Oppose Charter School Renewal
Red Bank Public Schools Oppose
Charter School Renewal
For Immediate Release: December 5, 2016
Frank Argote-Freyre, Director – 908-670-0552
Lazaro Cardenas, Deputy Director – 732-500-7864
Wayne Woolley – Fair Schools Red Bank – 732-804-6782
The Red Bank Public Schools declared their official opposition to the expansion of the Red Bank Charter School [RBCS] in a formal letter and presentation to the state Department of Education recently obtained by the Latino Coalition of New Jersey [LCNJ].
The Latino Coalition and Fair Schools Red Bank, an organization of Red Bank public school parents, filed a segregation complaint with the federal Department of Justice last month. Both organizations have called on the state to revoke RBCS’ charter. According to the federal civil rights complaint, the student body of the Red Bank public schools are 81 percent Latino, while at the charter school only 38 percent are Latino. About 89 percent of the children in the Red Bank public schools qualify for free and reduced lunches, an indicator of poverty, while at the charter school only 41 percent do. In addition, RBCS receives $2,000 more per pupil than the rest of the school district.
In a letter to NJ DOE Acting Commissioner Kimberley Harrington, dated October 13, 2016, Red Bank Superintendent of Schools Jared Rumage, said the charter school places an “unfair financial burden” on the taxpayers of Red Bank.
“Moreover, the Red Bank Charter School does not offer any unique opportunity or instructional programming beyond what our Borough schools offer,” according to Rumage’s letter, obtained through an Open Public Records Act request. “For years, the Red Bank Charter School has tied their identity and justified their existence by spreading a false narrative – that the Red Bank Borough Public Schools are disengaged and failing. Now that the true story has been revealed, it is time to re-evaluate the need for the Red Bank Charter School. The small community of Red Bank Borough can no longer support two separate school districts, and based on any objective comparison, we no longer have the need to do so.” The letter and the school board’s 12-page presentation to the NJ DOE, highlighting its academic successes, is included with this press release.
Earlier this year, the Latino Coalition partnered with parents and the Red Bank School District to successfully oppose the expansion of the charter school. The Coalition was founded in 2003 to promote civil rights and political empowerment of Latinos and the working poor.