Sunday LeftoversApril 19, 2015
“Movements are moral.” Opting-out Isn’t.April 20, 2015
Ron Rice Jr., a former Newark Public Schools student, Newark city councilman, and current senior director of government relations at the National Alliance for Public Charter School, pleads with Assembly members Patrick Diegnan and Mila Jasey to pull the charter moratorium bill:
Malcolm X said that education is our passport to the future, yet bills like A.4351 deny parents in places like Newark and Camden the opportunity to apply for that passport. Parents are smart; they see across neighborhood borders where students have the option to attend better public schools.
Right now there are more than 20,000 New Jersey students on waiting lists to get into public charter schools. The only way those children will be able to enroll and improve their lives–to receive this “passport” is if New Jersey continues to allow more high-quality charter schools to open and expand. That won’t happen if A.4351 passes, which is why this legislation is misguided and ultimately disrespectful to families and students…
I want every child in my hometown to have a choice to attend a great public school. I want every child to not be cheated out of them because of income, neighborhood or life circumstances. Make no mistake: A.4351 is misguided legislation. I know that the sponsors of the bill are decent, hardworking and compassionate leaders. As a former elected official, I believe we all make mistakes, even on our best days, in service to our communities. That is not a sin. The sin is in not admitting it. Pull this bill to empower New Jersey parents to make the best public school choices for their children.