The school board for the Princeton Public Schools announced today that it will file an appeal challenging the state’s approval of the Princeton Charter School expansion.
The appeal will be filed with the Appellate Division of the Superior Court and the school board will also file a request with the Acting State Commissioner of Education to stay her decision, officials said.
“We are filing this appeal on behalf of the students and the taxpayers of the Princeton
community,” Superintendent Steve Cochrane said in a press release. “It is economically,
educationally, and ethically unjust that a majority of the allowable increase in the school
budget will, for years to come, fund the expansion of 76 students at the Princeton
Charter School, while leaving a much smaller portion for the nearly 3,800 students in the
growing and far more diverse Princeton Public Schools.”
The state approved the charter school’s application to amend its charter to expand by 76 students over the next two years and add a weighted lottery last week. Officials from the Princeton Public Schools say the expansion will cost the district $1.18 million a year.
“There are some principles worth fighting for,” Cochrane said. “The funding for our
children’s education is one of them.”
Cochrane said he does not want to see students caught in the middle of this dispute.
“While we, as a District, are committed to addressing this decision in the courts, we are equally committed to ensuring that our schools, our classrooms, and our community remain welcoming environments for every student and their families,” he said. “They are all our children.”
Paul Josephson, head of the Princeton Charter School Board of Trustees, said the school wishes to work collaboratively with Princeton Public Schools to ensure that this expansion is implemented with minimal impact.
“We have heard the community and following up on three earlier meetings with the Superintendent and Princeton Public Schools officials, we await the board’s response to our invitation to renew those discussions and work together in the best interests of all Princeton public school students,” Josephson said.