Franklin Township Education Association
For Immediate Release: February 13, 2017
Please contact: John Felix, Co-Founder Franklin C.A.R.E.S parent group, Cell: 848-702-8521
Community Aims to Daylight Diversion of Taxpayer Funds to Corporate Charter School in Franklin
Franklin Township, NJ – A panel of education policy specialists will convene on Wednesday, February 22,
2017 at 7pm, at the Franklin Township High School Cafeteria, to discuss the damaging impact of charter
schools, the potential harms of expanding current charters, and the impact of opening a third charter
school in Franklin Township at a great cost to taxpayers and students.
Community members, parents, and public school entities are recognizing the serious ramifications of the
quickly expanding corporate charter schools in the area.
They are citing the increased, redundant overhead costs of operating three additional school districts in
our community. Concerns about the segregation of students based on ethnicity and ability are rising.
Citizens from Somerset and Middlesex Counties are calling for a moratorium on charters in the area until
the New Jersey Department of Education studies the impact of charter schools on traditional public
Members of the community are encouraged attend and to hear what experts will share during the
February 22th panel discussion about corporate charter schools and their effect on taxpayers.
Moderator: John Felix – Co-Founder Franklin C.A.R.E.S.
Experts on the panel include:
Dr. John Ravally – Franklin Township Superintendent of Schools; Nishita Desai – Parent / education
activist / Franklin Township resident; Kim Gordon – Parent / special education activist / Franklin
Township resident; Jersey Jazzman (Mark Weber) – blogger / educator / public education activist;
Mother Crusader (Darcie Cimarusti) – blogger / public education advocate-activist
Additional Background Information:
Franklin Township Public School (FTPS) schools, their educational programs, and co-curricular activities
are at risk due to the diversion of funds created by an overabundance of charter school seats.
Our community currently has the highest number of charter schools operating within a non-urban
district in the state of New Jersey.
In 2016-2017 the state mandated FTPS set aside $9,043,447.00 of the budget to accommodate charter
school tuitions. In addition, FTPS is also mandated to pay for buses, which cost FTPS $812,654.0, bringing
the total amount sent to charter schools to $9,856,101.00.
These taxpayer funds are being used to educate students in schools that are not regulated by same high
expectations and a state mandates that FTPS operates under.
Over the last three years FTPS expenditures for charter schools have seen a 43% expansion!
Unfortunately, the bad news does not end there.
The third charter school, Ailanthus Charter School, has recently been granted conditional approval to
begin operation in 2018.
According to their application, the Ailanthus school intends to enroll a total of 300 students by its fourth
year of operation. This unnecessary transfer of students would burden taxpayers with the administrative
overhead of a fourth school district in town and could have devastating effects on programs and services
for our students as the funding would be re-allocated out of district to support the new Ailanthus
If Ailanthus is granted final approval, approximately 7,000 Franklin Township students would face
reduced services and programing including a possible increase in class sizes.
Additionally, the New Jersey Commissioner of Education has already approved a charter expansion for
the Thomas Edison Energy Charter School in Franklin Township and has been asked to consider a 480
student expansion for the Central Jersey College Prep Charter!
If all of charters receive final approval, the expansion of charter seats in Franklin Township has a
potential to add another $12,000,000 -plus over the next three to four years, raising taxpayers burden to
fund corporate charter schools to an estimated $20,000,000 or higher.