Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Frank Raia withdraws from 2010 Hoboken Board of Ed Election.

To Whom It May Concern:

Two years ago, as a member of the Hoboken Board of Education, I fought to have a dual language program integrated into the Hoboken Public School system. After a great amount of public controversy, the language program was voted down by the board majority.

The program founders did not lose hope, though, and applied for a charter from the state to open the Spanish language immersion school they envisioned. Last year I was honored to join the Board of Trustees for HoLa, a new charter school in Hoboken which will serve 132 children in grades K to 2 starting in September 2010. The school will eventually expand to fifth grade. Currently there is a waiting list for admissions.

It is both exciting and challenging to be part of the start-up of a new educational entity. As a member of the HoLa Board of Trustees I have the opportunity to have a real impact on matters that affect students. I believe strongly that this small school can be a place where children of diverse backgrounds can mix and that all of the children we educate will benefit.

I submitted my petition to run for the Hoboken Board of Education, thinking that, if elected, I could abstain on matters directly related to the HoLa Charter School. Since that time, I have learned that I am prohibited from sitting on both Boards simultaneously.

I have given this matter a great deal of consideration. While I know that the Hoboken Public Schools are at an important crossroad, I have made a commitment to HoLa and I can not turn my back on something that I know will be good for kids. Therefore, I am withdrawing my name from consideration as a candidate for the Hoboken Board of Education.

I will be campaigning in the following weeks, not for myself, but for Ken Howitt and Kyelia Colon, who share with me a desire to build on what is already good in the public schools and make it better. I hope that the many people who know me and encouraged my run for the Board of Education will support them.
Sincerely yours,

Frank Raia