State Denies Red Bank Charter School’s Plan For Growth

first_imgBy John BurtonRED BANK – State Commissioner of Education David C. Hespe made known his decision this week, allowing for a sigh of relief for many in the community and delivering a major setback for the charter school community.Hespe on Monday issued his nervously anticipated decision, in the final analysis denying the Red Bank Charter School’s proposal to expand its enrollment and facility – a proposal that had become quite controversial and contentious in Red Bank.In his brief, one-page letter sent to the charter school’s board of trustees on Monday, Hespe offered little in way of explanation other than saying the state Department of Education (DOE) had reviewed the charter school’s request “based on a review of its academic, operational, and fiscal standing as well as an analysis of public comments, fiscal impact on sending districts, and other information in order to make a decision,” concerning the charter school’s plan. But based upon his review of the school’s request and information provided and review of the public comments, Hespe decided against the proposal.In response to Hespe’s ruling Meredith Pennotti, the charter school principal, offered a released statement: “The Red Bank Charter School is disappointed in the Department of Education’s to deny the expansion to the charter school. This is a missed opportunity to have served Red Bank and an increased number of disadvantaged students via the weighted lottery. We look forward to continuing to serve our students and families with a high-caliber education.”“It’s quite relieving,” said Jared Rumage, the district’s superintendent of schools, after being notified Hespe had denied the charter school’s proposal.Rumage had been expressing his fears about what a larger charter school would mean for the public school district, saying it would have a profound impact on the district the state traditionally underfunds. He regularly said it would be “devastating” to the public school district.“Certainly, the board of education and I are very satisfied with the decision,” Rumage said, referencing Hespe’s action.The Red Bank Charter School, 58 Oakland St., had very quietly initially sought approval from Hespe and the DOE to double the enrollment to 400 students over a three-year period and to expand its facility to an available Monmouth Street property that abuts the school’s Oakland Street location. School officials had maintained given the school’s ongoing waiting list for placement, the availability of the neighboring property and the state’s modification to the random lottery system that would give added weight to more disadvantaged students, it was an ideal time to undertake this plan. Officials said the expansion would be a benefit for the community, offering families a choice in public schools.When the charter school’s submission became public last December, concern and opposition began and grew as all waited for Hespe’s decision. Public school officials said the expansion would mean the cutting or elimination of much-needed programs and staff members for the district that has considerable challenges. It would also mean additional taxes for property owners to help meet the cost requirements of the expansion; and the expansion would exacerbate what is already a heavily segregated district, with charter school white students outnumbering the number of whites in the primary and middle schools.The local board of education has made these arguments in the past, even taking the charter school to court, alleging it worsened segregation in the public schools and had a detrimental impact on the traditional public schools. The board was unsuccessful a decade ago with both the state education officials and the Superior Court of Appeals rejecting the arguments.The public school district out of its budget supplies 90 percent of the charter school funds – currently at approximately at $1.6 million – to provide a thorough and efficient education under the state formula. The charter school also receives additional direct state aid.Amanda Vega, director of communications for the New Jersey Charter Schools Association, provided a statement that noted: “Commissioner Hespe’s letter indicates the reason for denial was based upon information received during the 60-day public comment period. The Christie Administration has stated a strong commitment to strengthening not only the charter community, but also supporting public education overall.”As time progressed, public opposition grew. The borough council offered its bipartisan, unanimous opposition to the plan. Mayor Pasquale Menna had convened a special committee to study the proposal and reported it would have “devastating” effects on taxes and the public school. (Some charter school supporters alleged the committee’s verdict was politically charged and motivated.)Red Bank RiverCenter, which manages and advocates for the borough commercial Special Improvement District, issued a statement that the threat of higher taxes to support the expansion could have a negative impact on business recruitment and by extension the entire community. State Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) and the 11th District’s Assembly members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey, both Democrats, all voiced opposition, especially in light of the state’s continued short funding of educational aid. Just last two weeks Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-13), who acknowledged he is ideologically supportive of school choice, also raised objections to the plan.One community member who attended a meeting in Trenton with Harold Lee, the state’s director for the Office of Charter Schools, said Lee told the Red Bank group he hadn’t experienced such an outpouring of community opposition, as had been the case for the Red Bank Charter School.“I’m in shock, in shock, in shock,” said a jubilant Board of Education Member Ben Forest over the denial. “Based upon the state policies of encouraging and expanding charter school’s I’m very proud the commissioner of education did the right thing.”Menna said what he was hearing from those in the know in Trenton, the expansion was a fait accompli. But “What I think tipped the scales was basically the community coming together to speak with one voice.”Indeed, both Hespe and Gov. Chris Christie are on the record as supporting school choice. Hespe last month announced at a school choice conference in Jersey City, that the Christie Administration hoped to expand the number of charter school classroom seats to 50,000, from its current approximately 41,000, by the end of the administration’s term in 2018.The Department of Education recently approved 16 charter school expansion proposals and gave the OK for three new ones.“This is a tremendous win for the people of Red Bank,” the mayor said, “and for the public schools, which have done an incredible job making up for years of challenges and really creating a fantastic educational atmosphere for people to grow in.”“The sweetest thing in all this, as I see it,” observed Marybeth Maida, a borough resident opposed to the charter school’s proposal, “is the community rose up and the community spoke. And what a great feeling to be part of a movement that made sense and prevailed.”“It was the perfect civics lesson,” Maida noted.The charter school could reapply to the DOE again next year or even seek to appeal Hespe’s decision to the state Superior Court of Appeals, according to a DOE spokesman.This year seven of eight charter schools that sought expansion through the charter renewal were approved by the state; nine of the 18 that requested expansion through the amendment process – as was the case with Red Bank – were approved, according to the DOE. Correction, March 10The Page 1 story “State Denies Red Bank Charter School’s Plan for Growth” in the March 3 edition of The Two River Times mischaracterizes the position of Red Bank RiverCenter. According to James Scavone, RiverCenter’s executive director, the business organization was neutral on the charter school’s expansion plan; but expressed concern about what a possible tax increase to pay for it would mean for the current business community and for RiverCenter’s efforts to attract new businesses.last_img read more

Massive online auction for Donegal properties sells for almost €5M

first_imgAn online auction of properties in Co Donegal has sold for almost €5M. The portfolio of as many as 93 commercial and residential property in Letterkenny and Falcarragh has sold for its combined guide price of €4.85m prior to the BidX1 auction. The auctioneer raised more than €35.6m over three days of online auctions and 46pc of the revenue was generated by 34 commercial lots.BidX1’s Bernard Cully said this September’s auctions were its most successful this year.“The level of interest shows that, despite the economic and political uncertainty, investors are still confident about the outlook for Irish property market,” he told independent.ie.Many of the properties in the Co Donegal lot are located close to each other at Upper Main Street, Pearse Road and at Academy Court in Letterkenny.One of these, McKendrick Place, next to Pearse Road, is responsible for €107,000 in rental income and nine of its 11 retail and office units are tenanted with EBS among the occupants. In all the Co Donegal lot generates annual rent of almost €306,100, although the auctioneer also points out that current passing annual rent totals €423,116. With vacant possession of 30 units, they have potential for a significant increase in rental income.Massive online auction for Donegal properties sells for almost €5M was last modified: September 27th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalFalcarraghletterkennyonline auctionpropertylast_img read more

Avian influenza discovered in Alabama

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Alabama State Veterinarian, Dr. Tony Frazier, confirmed that a flock of chickens at a commercial poultry breeding operation located in Pickens County and a backyard flock located in Madison County have both tested positive for low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI).During routine screening, a commercial company collected samples from their Pickens County flock and submitted them to the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries State Diagnostic Laboratory located in Auburn, Alabama. These samples, suspected positive for avian influenza, were forwarded to the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa. NVSL confirmed the commercial flock is positive for LPAI. This commercial flock has been placed under quarantine. While this is different from the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus that has been found recently to the north in Tennessee, control measures are under way as a precautionary measure.In addition to the suspected case in Pickens County, a backyard flock located in Madison County has also been confirmed positive for low pathogenic H7N9 avian influenza (LPAI) by NVSL. Surveillance zones have been put in place surrounding the locations in both Pickens and Madison counties.This suspected strain of avian influenza does not pose a risk to the food supply and no affected animals entered the food chain.On Tuesday, March 14, 2017, Dr. Tony Frazier issued an official Order Prohibiting Poultry Exhibitions and the Assembling of Poultry to Be Sold. The order prohibits: all poultry exhibitions, sales at regional and county fairs, festivals, swap meets, live bird markets, flea markets and auctions. The order also prohibits the concentration, collection, or assembly of poultry of all types, including wild waterfowl from one or more premises for purposes of sale. This order remains in effect. Shipments of eggs or baby chicks from National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) approved facilities are not affected by this order.“The health of our poultry is critically important at this time,” said Dr. Frazier. “With confirmed cases of low pathogenic avian influenza in Alabama in both commercial and backyard flocks, the order reducing the assembly and commingling of poultry is the most effective way to practice strict biosecurity measures in our state.”Dr. Frazier reminds poultry producers and backyard flock owners to observe their birds closely and to be vigilant about practicing strict biosecurity measures. These include:•           Isolating poultry from other animals;•           Wearing clothing designated for use only at the poultry house;•           Minimizing access to people and unsanitized equipment;•           Keeping the area around the poultry buildings clean and uninviting to wild birds and animals;•           Sanitizing the facility between flocks;•           Cleaning equipment entering and leaving the farm;•           Having an all-in, all-out policy regarding the placement and removal of the poultry;•           Properly disposing of bedding material and mortalities;•           Avoiding contact with migratory waterfowl.last_img read more

Ravena on scare vs Thais: ‘We didn’t expect we would play that bad’

first_imgRavena on scare vs Thais: ‘We didn’t expect we would play that bad’6.1K viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC SEA Games 7: Things to watch out for with PH women’s volleyball team View comments MOST READ LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games “We expected that Thailand would put up a fight, but we didn’t expect that we would play that bad,” said guard Kiefer Ravena Monday at Sunway Putra Hotel here. “It was an ugly one for us but we ended up winning and that was the end goal.”CONTRIBUTED PHOTOThailand managed to take a 71-69 lead midway through the fourth and it needed the late-game heroics of Ravena and Baser Amer to lead the Philippines to the victory.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutGilas went on an 8-0 run to take a 77-71 lead with the backcourt tandem scoring six points in the pivotal spurt.Ravena said that if ever they plan to win the Philippines’ record 17th gold medal in the regional games, they have to be sharp from the get-go down to avoid playing catchup. LATEST STORIES SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Read Next KUALA LUMPUR—Gilas Pilipinas barely left MABA Stadium the same way it came in.Southeast Asia’s most dominant basketball program had to fight tooth-and-nail against Thailand to capture an 81-74 win at the start of the 2017 Southeast Asian Games basketball tournament.ADVERTISEMENT WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “I guess we have to avoid things like these from happening again,” said Ravena, who finished with 11 points but shot 4-of-14 from the field.  UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesseslast_img read more

10 months agoSupporters’ Trust pushes Man Utd to add ‘football expertise’ to management

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Supporters’ Trust pushes Man Utd to add ‘football expertise’ to managementby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveThe Manchester United Supporters’ Trust say it’s time for greater football know-how to be added to the club’s management.In a statement released on Wednesday, MUST say the club needs to “put football expertise in charge of football decisions”.”United need a lift and our ultimate super-sub, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, is just the man for the job,” MUST said.”He’s been a long-term backer of fans and a patron of MUST, so we know he understands our support and what we are looking for from a manager. “Whilst Ole is at the helm, the club needs to make the big structural changes to equip us to compete in modern football. “The club must put football expertise in charge of football decisions, especially in respect of selection of the next manager and player transfers. “Manchester United fans have shown phenomenal support to the team through the recent difficult period. “We know all fans will continue to back the team and we expect to see the players giving their all for the club and the supporters. We know Ole will.” last_img read more

Colin Cowherd Goes On 6-Minute Rant Against Alabama, The SEC

first_imgColin Cowherd goes off on Alabama during The Herd.colin cowherd goes off on alabamaSunday night, FOX Sports radio host Colin Cowherd ruffled a few feathers, dropping a top four that includes both Michigan State and Ohio State, but not SEC heavyweight Alabama. Monday, he doubled down, going on a six-minute rant about the Crimson Tide’s strength of schedule.Cowherd added that the Big Ten, top to middle, is the best conference in college football. He thinks that the SEC is “living off of reputation” this season.“The SEC is living totally off reputation” – @ColinCowherd on why Alabama isn’t in his Top 4. #HerdHere https://t.co/d3sd2DmzEU— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) November 30, 2015Regardless of what you think about Cowherd’s rant, one thing is certain. If Alabama beats Florida this Saturday, it’ll be part of the playoff. Whether it’ll win the whole thing – that’s up for debate.last_img read more

Delhi Assembly session from August 22

first_imgNew Delhi: The Delhi Assembly will start its session from August 22 with the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) planning to raise the demand for a special discussion on the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. The BJP MLAs will raise the demand for a resolution to be adopted in the Delhi Assembly to support the Centre’s decisions related to Jammu and Kashmir, Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta told the media here on Wednesday. The session may also see a discussion and financial allocation or a revised budget for the proposed free Metro rides for women and the Delhi government’s announcement about free electricity up to 200 units.last_img

In the news today April 6

first_imgSeven stories in the news for Friday, April 6———PM TRUDEAU VENTURES INTO OILSANDS TODAYPrime Minister Justin Trudeau will visit the Alberta oilsands today, less than 24 hours after protesters in Vancouver called for him to revoke the approval of the Trans Canada pipeline project. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside a Liberal party fundraising dinner to bang pots and chant “Kinder Morgan has got to go.” Trudeau will tour a new Suncor oilsands facility today in Fort McMurray.—LATEST JOBS DATA OUT TODAYStatistics Canada will update the jobs picture for March today. In February, the economy added 15,400 net new jobs to trim the unemployment rate to 5.8 per cent. The February gains were due to a surge in part-time work that offset a decline in full-time positions. The labour force survey also said the gains in February were driven by an increase of 50,300 in public-sector jobs.———N.B. PREMIER SUSPENDS SPEAKER AMID ALLEGATIONSThe Speaker of the New Brunswick legislature has been suspended from the Liberal caucus pending an investigation into allegations of harassment. Premier Brian Gallant announced Chris Collins’ suspension Thursday, saying the allegations against the 55-year-old Speaker were made by a former employee of the legislative assembly.———BUDGET DAY IN PRINCE EDWARD ISLANDThe Prince Edward Island government will table its 2018 budget today amid what one observer says are growing signs of an early provincial election call. Don Desserud, a professor of political science at UPEI, says Premier Wade MacLauchlan may want to call a vote for May or early June while the Island’s economy is relatively strong.———ALBERTA BABY DEATH AND ILLNESS ON FIRST NATION A MYSTERYAn autopsy is scheduled to be performed today on a baby girl who died in a crowded home this week on a First Nation west of Calgary. RCMP are still trying to determine precisely why the child died and 14 other people were taken to hospital from the home. Authorities have said they suffered from influenza-like symptoms. Health Canada also plans to investigate.———EMERGENCY ALERTS COMING TO YOUR CELLPHONEStarting today, Canadians won’t have to be near a television or radio to receive emergency alerts. Life-threatening emergencies will now be broadcast on compatible mobile phones. As of today, the National Public Alerting System — commonly called Alert Ready — will include wireless networks, in addition to traditional broadcast channels. Situations that could prompt an alert include forest fires, terrorist threats or an Amber Alert for a missing child.———SEDIN TWINS BID FAREWELL TO VANCOUVER FANSIt was a storybook ending at Rogers Arena as Daniel and Henrik Sedin said farewell to the hometown crowd. Daniel scored the winning goal in overtime, with an assist from Henrik as the Vancouver Canucks beat Arizona 4-3 last night. It was the Sedins’ final NHL game on home ice. The Swedish twins said Monday they are retiring after playing 17 seasons with the Canucks. Their final game will be Saturday in Edmonton.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland meets with U.S. and Mexican trade representative in Washington, D.C.— New Brunswick Southern Railway to enter pleas on 24 charges stemming from the Lac Megantic disaster.— The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls holds hearings in Richmond, B.C.— A woman appears in a Lethbridge, Alta., court, accused of leaving a child in a freezing vehicle while she went drinking.— The Royal Bank will hold its annual meeting in Toronto.last_img read more

EU officials firms meet African leaders to talk investment

first_imgBERLIN — European officials and companies are meeting in Vienna with African leaders for talks on increasing investment in the continent.Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency, told ORF broadcaster Tuesday that more than 1,000 business people were attending the EU-Africa forum.Kurz says he hopes this is a “good start signal for more European investment in Africa so that the African continent, when it comes to investment, isn’t just conceded to the Chinese.”African Union Chairman Paul Kagame, Rwanda’s president, and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi were among the leaders on hand for the forum.The Associated Presslast_img

Christchurch Test called off after shootings

first_imgNew Delhi: The third Test between New Zealand and Bangladesh in Christchurch was called off on Friday after gunmen opened fire at two mosques in the city, with the police saying that there were “multiple fatalities”. The decision was made after discussions between New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB). “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families and friends of those affected by the shocking situation in Christchurch. A joint decision between NZC and the @BCBtigers has been made to cancel the Hagley Oval Test. Again both teams and support staff groups are safe,” NZC said in a tweet. Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football together David Richardson, CEO of the International Cricket Council (ICC), also issued a statement on the same. “Our thoughts and sincere condolences go out to the families and friends of those affected by this horrendous incident in Christchurch. Both teams, staff and match officials are safe and the ICC fully supports the decision to cancel the Test match.” The Bangladesh team had a narrow escape on Friday morning as they were in the vicinity of one of the two mosques where the shootings took place. Also Read – Andy Murray to make Grand Slam return at Australian Open The players took to social media to inform fans and family that they were safe and also asked them to pray for the cricketers. Senior batsman Tamim Iqbal tweeted: “Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers #christchurchMosqueAttack” Test captain Mushfiqur Rahim wrote: “Alhamdulillah Allah save us today while shooting in Christchurch in the mosque… We r extremely lucky …never want to see this things happen again….pray for us.” The shootings took place at the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Masjid. Police Commissioner Mike Bush said they have arrested four arrested so far but refused to give the number of fatalties. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the events as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”.last_img read more