Education

Franklin Township: Public Panel Discussed the Impact of Charter Schools on District

3f0f9dc44c97a2216cab_DSC_0976.JPG
Members of the community gathering for Protect Public Schools, Oppose Charter Growth forum Credits: Malik Lyons
478746161641e7ec4ef7_DSC_0956.JPG
BOE President of Highland Park Darcie Cimarusti Credits: Malik Lyons
eb32405304df1f6f553c_DSC_0960.JPG
Superintendent of Franklin Township Public Schools Dr. John Ravally Credits: Malik Lyons
3f0f9dc44c97a2216cab_DSC_0976.JPG

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - Township residents gathered Wednesday night at Franklin High School for a forum called "Protect Public Schools, Oppose Charter Growth," and at one point tempers boiled over. 

The disagreement didn't last long, and can be seen in video footage below:

Sign Up for E-News

The forum was moderated by co-founders of Franklin Community Advocates Revitalizing our Education System (C.A.R.E.S.) John Felix, and Michael Steinbruck. 

Superintendent of Franklin Township Public Schools Dr. John Ravally, Kim Gordon, McAfee Road School Teacher Kim Gordon, Ph.D. candidate Mark Weber, BOE President of Highland Park Darcie Cimarusti, and former parent of Thomas Edison EnergySmart charter school Nishita Desai made up the panel.   

Steinbruck read a statement from Mayor Phillip Kramer saying he "fully supports the Franklin Township Public schools, and supports the moratorium on the expansion of charter schools."

"With regard to Franklin C.A.R.E.S. this is the principal issue we' re dealing with now, but we're really a group of families, supporters and advocates that want to support our public schools in lots of different ways," Steinbruck said. "We may not all agree today, but we may agree tomorrow."

"This discussion is not a Q and A it is intended for the audience like yourself to have a listening basically with the educators, the parent advocates," Felix said... "To give you their views on what the expansion of charter school means for Franklin Township."

"We do not have any strong opposition to parents that choose to educate students at other schools," Felix said. "We do feel however, that from a financial standpoint the township will not be well served with the expansion of charter schools. This township cannot support three charter schools."

There are five charter schools in Middlesex and Somerset counties, including two that operate in Franklin Township. Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School (TEECS), and Central Jersey College Prep (CJCP)  and serve students from Franklin, North Brunswick, South Brunswick and New Brunswick.

Ailanthus Charter School is scheduled to open September 2018 and serve students from Franklin and New Brunswick.

"This is an economic issue for us budget challenges in this time can be very difficult for us, we have had flat state aide over the years, Ravally said. "For us that is a de facto cut as other increases continue to rise."

The 8,096-student district spent some $9.8 million sending students to charter schools in this year’s $148 million budget, according to 2016-2017 budget information on the district’s website. That accounts for about 6 percent of the total district spending plan.

If the expansion of the charter schools in the district continues that figure can double in three years, according to the panel.

"Governor Christie over the last 7 years, has done two things, he has given us all less money, and more charter schools," Cimarusti said. "Governor Christie took a can of gasoline and then lit a match and tossed it, and is sitting back watching all this happen. So the folks who have their kids in charter schools have to sit back for a minute and look at it from this perspective. Yes we understand that this idea of school choice is out there and all parents should be able to choose where they send their children to school, but there are consequences." 

Franklin C.A.R.E.S and the Latino Coalition released a statement earlier this month calling for a federal investigation into the area charter schools and CJCP issued a response. 

CJCP's CEO Dr. Namik Sercan had the opportunity to talk to the audience and urged them to attend an open house at CJCP this Saturday. 

Did you like this story? 

Sign Up for E-News

Give us your feedback at mlyons@tapinto.net.

If you did like it, don't forget to "Like" our FaceBook Page!  and follow us on Twitter.

Download the TAPinto App!   Click here for Android - Click here for iOS 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Franklin Township

Franklin Township: Physical Therapy and Fitness Center to Offer Free Back Pain and Sciatica Screening

June 21, 2018

SOMERSET, NJ - Are you suffering from pain and looking for relief? You don't need to travel far. 

At Absolute Physical Therapy and Fitness Center, located on Route 27 in Franklin Park, Purvi Shah, RPT can tailor an individualized therapeutic exercise treatment plan that will meet your needs.

Therapeutic exercises aimed at achieving and maintaining physical fitness fall into the ...

Bridgewater Police: Avoid Mall for Ongoing Police Investigation

June 14, 2018

UPDATE: According to a Nixle alert from the Bridgewater Township Police Department at 9 p.m., the investigation at the mall has been completed, and the mall will be resuming normal business operations.

Police emphasized that there is no immediate threat to the public and no injuries were reported.

Keep checking back for more information.

Related article: Bridgewater Mall Shut Down ...

Students Lead ‘Die-In’ at Congressman Lance’s Westfield Office; Summit Boy Arrested

WESTFIELD, NJ — Seventeen-year-old Summit High School student Ben Schachter was taken away in handcuffs Tuesday during a gun safety “die-in” protest led by local high school students at Congressman Leonard Lance's Westfield office. Lance was not present at the office at the time.

Read: Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman Talks Gun Violence, School Safety, ...

Dozens of Highland Park Residents Rally Against Recent ICE Detainment of Neighbor, Father of 4

Dozens of community members rallied in front of The Reformed Church of Highland Park on Friday afternoon to voice their opposition towards the recent detainment of local resident Cloyd Edralin by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The rally was planned just four days after Edralin, 47, a green card holder from the Philippines and father to four children who are U.S. citizens, was ...

Bridgewater Police: Avoid Mall for Ongoing Police Investigation

June 14, 2018

UPDATE: According to a Nixle alert from the Bridgewater Township Police Department at 9 p.m., the investigation at the mall has been completed, and the mall will be resuming normal business operations.

Police emphasized that there is no immediate threat to the public and no injuries were reported.

Keep checking back for more information.

Related article: Bridgewater Mall Shut Down ...

Students Lead ‘Die-In’ at Congressman Lance’s Westfield Office; Summit Boy Arrested

WESTFIELD, NJ — Seventeen-year-old Summit High School student Ben Schachter was taken away in handcuffs Tuesday during a gun safety “die-in” protest led by local high school students at Congressman Leonard Lance's Westfield office. Lance was not present at the office at the time.

Read: Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman Talks Gun Violence, School Safety, ...

Dozens of Highland Park Residents Rally Against Recent ICE Detainment of Neighbor, Father of 4

Dozens of community members rallied in front of The Reformed Church of Highland Park on Friday afternoon to voice their opposition towards the recent detainment of local resident Cloyd Edralin by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The rally was planned just four days after Edralin, 47, a green card holder from the Philippines and father to four children who are U.S. citizens, was ...

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Opening ReStore in Manville

June 19, 2018

MANVILLE, NJ - Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity is opening a Habitat ReStore in the Marketplace at Manville, next to Walmart on North Main Street in Manville, this fall.

At the store, RVHFH will pick up gently used furniture and goods from Somerset and Hunterdon county residents, and give them a second life at the store's grand opening.

To schedule a time for RVHFH to pick ...

Summer Camp Programs for Children and Teens Announced By Environmental Education Center

BERNARDS TWP., NJ – Each summer, the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in Basking Ridge holds programs that let children and teens explore nature for summer activities that both entertaining and an opportunity to learn about the environment.

The programs are organized and led by the EEC's staff of naturalists.

The EEC is a Somerset County facility located at 190 Lord ...

Somerset County Employees' Health Center Opens in Somerville

SOMERVILLE, NJ - The Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders and officials from Integrity Health gathered for a June 12 ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new health care facility on East Main Street.

The Somerset County Partnership Health Center (SCPHC) will serve as an on-site health, wellness and care coordination center for employees of Somerset County, the county park commission, the ...

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Opening ReStore in Manville

June 19, 2018

MANVILLE, NJ - Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity is opening a Habitat ReStore in the Marketplace at Manville, next to Walmart on North Main Street in Manville, this fall.

At the store, RVHFH will pick up gently used furniture and goods from Somerset and Hunterdon county residents, and give them a second life at the store's grand opening.

To schedule a time for RVHFH to pick ...

Summer Camp Programs for Children and Teens Announced By Environmental Education Center

BERNARDS TWP., NJ – Each summer, the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in Basking Ridge holds programs that let children and teens explore nature for summer activities that both entertaining and an opportunity to learn about the environment.

The programs are organized and led by the EEC's staff of naturalists.

The EEC is a Somerset County facility located at 190 Lord ...