MONTCLAIR, NJ - The self-proclaimed education advocacy group, Montclair Kids First (MKF) has come out to openly oppose the opening of the Fullbright Academy Charter School in Montclair. The organization, joins a long list of other opposers that also includes the Montclair Board of Education and the Montclair Township Council.
During Monday's Board of Education meeting, the community was informed that the charter school application had been approved at the first level and now reached level two in the approval process.
In a letter to their email distribution group, MKF leaders asked for others to write letters of concern to NJDOE Commissioner David Hespe.
To date, an online letter-writing petition initiated by another community group Montclair Cares About Schools (MCAS), reveals that nearly 500 letters have already been sent to Hespe. MCAS and MKF have not always seen eye to eye in the past on various issues, but on opposing a charter cchool in Montclair, the two join the growing list of others who agree that a charter school may be bad for public education in Montclair.
Attempts to obtain comment from Fulbright Academy Charter School officials have gone unanswered.
The letter from MKF is as follows:
We would like to ask you to join Montclair Kids First (MKF) and many other community organizations in voicing your concern regarding the Fulbright Academy French Language Public Charter School Application.
MKF was founded to fulfill the promise of our Public Schools.
As an organization, we firmly believe in public school options. As our own magnet system reflects, public school options empower parents. It is of crucial importance that all options clearly reflect the values of our diverse community.
Recently, the news that the Fulbright Academy French Language Public Charter School application for Montclair has passed the first stage of NJ State Department of Education approval process has been made public.
While MKF understands that some communities demand Public School options through Public Charter Schools, we firmly believe that Montclair is already provided Public School choice through its innovative and respected magnet system.
Additionally, we believe that adding specifically a French Language Immersion School will not address our most immediate District priorities which we are passionately focused on, such as addressing our achievement gap or creating Universal Pre-K.
If you would like to contact the NJ Commissioner of Education with this message, Mr. Hespe may be reached at:
David C. Hespe
New Jersey Department of Education
100 River View Plaza
P.O. Box 500
Trenton, NJ 08625
Montclair Kids First"