public education

Madame Filth's picture

charter schools get grants, even when they outright lie on applications

** i am pasting the text of the NY Times article here, but i encourage you to read it from its source, not just for purposes of giving proper credit, the article also contains useful links for anyone who is interested in this topic. however, i know a lot of people don't bother, so for ease, i'm pasting the text. emphasis mine, comments below.

Rejected 3 Times, School May Still Open Soon, and With a Grant, Too

In the last couple of years, Sharon Akman, a real estate agent, applied to the state of New Jersey three times to open a new charter school in the Highland Park area, to be called Tikun Olam Hebrew Language Charter High School.

Each time, she was rejected.

Then on Oct. 6, one week after the state’s most recent rejection, the United States Education Department announced that it had approved a $600,000 grant to finance Ms. Akman’s proposed charter.

It would have taken federal officials just a few phone calls to determine that there were many good reasons for the state to have rejected Ms. Akman’s applications.

For one thing, they have been full of misrepresentations.

Ms. Akman, who declined to comment for this column, writes that the charter school would be located in St. Mary of Mount Virgin Church in New Brunswick, even though the bishop of the Diocese of Metuchen, Paul G. Bootkoski, has repeatedly said that the building is not available.

Ms. Akman’s documents list community supporters of the school, including Jun Choi, a former mayor of Edison, and the directors of the Zimmerli Art Museum in New Brunswick, who have written in e-mails made public that they are not supporters.

The application says there is a need for a Hebrew charter in the Highland Park-Edison-New Brunswick area, even though there are many Jewish private schools close by and, as Ms. Akman has told state reviewers, no community survey has been done.

The application says that the families served by the New Brunswick schools, which are predominantly black and Hispanic, support the Hebrew charter, even though school leaders and the local N.A.A.C.P. chapter do not.

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