4. a. A proposed choice district shall submit an application to the commissioner no later than April 30 in the year prior to the school year in which the choice program will be implemented…As of today, two weeks before the deadline, the DOE has declined to provide the application. A representative from the Interdistrict Public School Choice Association sent an email to Jessani Gordon, head of the DOE’s Interdistrict Choice Program Office, asking about the whereabouts of the application and whether the DOE would extend the deadline so that districts have at least 30 days to file.
We will add you to the email list to receive notification when the choice district application has been posted. No decisions have been made at this time to change the application deadline.Part two of the very bad week: on Tuesday Assemblyman John Burzichelli announced a bill that would ban students in the Interdistrict Public School Choice Program from participating in sports programs in their new schools. He added in an interview that he’d like to see this prohibition expanded to all extra-curricular activities, including music, art, and theater.
Bob Rossi, Athletics Director at Hunterdon Central, which is a choice school, said he believes Burzichelli’s legislation may not be the appropriate response to what he believes are isolated incidents of scholastic sports teams benefitting from school choice.
“Now you are going to hurt all these kids,” Rossi said. “That, to me, makes no sense.”Valarie Smith of the New Jersey Interdistrict Public School Choice Association explained that
[H]igh school is a holistic, all-encompassing experience, and singling out athletes is discriminatory and unfair. These people are more concerned about their sports programs than they are about giving these students choice.Assemblyman Burzichelli has an interesting past with high school athletics. Back in 2006, according to PolitickerNJ, he accused the NJ Interscholastic Athletics Associations, which oversees NJ school sports programs, of “bloated salaries, wasteful spending practices, and travel excursions." In 2011 the Star Ledger reported that the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, through the Open Public Records Act, obtained emails that showed that Burzichelli was “plotting a state takeover” of NJSIAA by the New Jersey School Boards Association. NJSIAA compiled a report based on the emails that the State Commission of Investigation “was used by Assemblyman Burzichelli to promote his agenda to eliminate the NJSIAA.”
Labels: DOE, NJSBA, school choice