Princeton Public Schools settles lawsuit with charter school
The school board for the Princeton Public Schools has settled two lawsuits with the Princeton Charter School challenging the charter school’s expansion. The Princeton Public Schools will save a total of $60,000 over the next two years, or $30,000 each year, as a result of the settlement.
Legal fees for the lawsuits cost each side more than $100,000 as of July 1 of 2017, meaning the district spent more money on the suits than it gained.
“We as a board and I as an individual felt it was important to protect our budget,” School Board President Patrick Sullivan said. “This lawsuit sends a message to our entire town that our budget is very important for students.”
In October of 2017, Mercer County Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson denied the school district’s request to void the Princeton Charter School’s application to the state for an amended charter that allowed the charter school to expand. She also expressed concerns about both school districts violating the Open Public Meetings Act. The Princeton Public Schools then filed an appeal in the case.
The district also filed anther appeal challenging former New Jersey Commissioner of Education Kimberley Harrington’s February 2017 decision granting the Princeton Charter School’s request to expand.
From the article: “She also expressed concerns about both school districts violating the Open Public Meetings Act.” Both school districts? Princeton Charter School is a district unto itself. So why doesn’t it seek separate funding by itself for itself since it can thumb its nose at the host district. The tax payers of the host district do not get a chance to vote on the PCS board of directors but they can vote for the elected school board of PPS. The parents of the kids who go to PCS vote for the PCS board and also can vote for the PPS board. Isn’t that nice. This whole concept of having a parallel school system that drains funds and resources from the actual public schools that educate 90% of the kids is duplicative and wasteful. It’s insane.
Do you know if the settlement involves simply transfer of money (a relatively small amount) or will it imply that fewer students would be admitted to PCS? It would be quite unfortunate to deny the educational opportunity to many children on the waiting list to get into the school.
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