Why you can’t trust anything they tell you about charter schools:
This week, the citizens and school boards of Cherry Hill and Voorhees won a major battle against a proposed charter school that neither community wanted nor needed. Blue Jersey has previously detailed the story of Regis Academy’s founder, Pastor Amor Khan, an anti-marriage equity crusader and political ally of Chris Christie.
Khan admitted – and his initial application clearly showed – that he needed the charter funds that would come from local taxpayers to pay off the mortgage on the property he was attempting to buy. The property would have housed both the charter and his ministry’s other operations, a clear conflict of interest the local school boards and parent activists pointed out repeatedly.
But because charter schools in New Jersey need not be approved by their local school boards, the local sending districts – which eventually grew to include over 30 districts all over South Jersey – had to set aside millions of dollars on the possibility Regis would open its doors this fall.
When the deal for the original property fell through, Khan had to scramble to find a new site – a surprise to the local school boards and residents. At this point, even the NJDOE had to admit that there were too many “misrepresentations” in the Regis application; this week, they denied final approval to the charter. Of course, the budget is set in the sending districts; what happens to the money now is anyone’s guess.
Had Regis been the only charter with problems, charter supporters could brush off this unfortunate outcome as an isolated incident. But charters are becoming an embarrassment all over the state:
– This morning, Jessica Calefati reports in the Star-Ledger on a charter school – Adelaide Sanford – that is allegedly paying rent on properties it doesn’t use. The issue seems to be similar to the one with Regis: the school and the landlord are one in the same, allowing tax dollars set aside for charters to be used to pay rent on properties being used for other purposes.
Go read the whole damned thing even if you don’t live in New Jersey, because I guarantee the same mess will be repeated in a place near you.