RED BANK: BOARD VOWS CHARTER PLAN FIGHT

135 MONMOUTH 121515 1The charter school recently leased space at 135 Monmouth Street, the former home of Prown’s Home Improvements, and hopes to acquire the building for its planned expansion. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A proposal to double enrollment at the Red Bank Charter School proved fighting words to the borough district Tuesday night.

If allowed, the expansion of the 200-student charter school “will almost certainly lead to a significant tax increase, as well as a multitude of cuts” in services at the borough schools, a visibly riled Superintendent Jared Rumage told a small audience at a board of education meeting held at the middle school.

“I cannot and will not allow our children to be left behind,” he said.

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RED BANK: CHARTER SCHOOL SEEKS TO DOUBLE

rbcs 3 090313Principal Meredith Pennotti with a Red Bank Charter School student in 2013. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03In an audacious bid to educate more borough children, the Red Bank Charter School has asked the New Jersey Department of Education for permission to double its enrollment over the next three years.

The move is likely to provoke “public discord” and impose “financial hardship” on the district from which the charter school sprang in 1998, charter school Principal Meredith Pennotti acknowledged in a letter to the DOE dated December 1. But it’s needed to address disparities in achievement between students in the two systems, she wrote.

Red Bank schools Superintendent Jared Rumage blasted the proposal as reflecting nearly 20-year-old attitudes about the district, and said its implementation would be “devastating.”

“That perception of who we were 20 years ago is irrelevant,” he told redbankgreen Tuesday morning.

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