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When we look at the data we notice that the K-12 enrollment has gone from 2184 in 2009-10 to 1760 in 2014-15 or a loss of 424 students or a reduction of 19.4% of the K-12 enrollment. But, a closer look at the data indicates that there has been an enormous increase in "choice students" in the Hoboken School District during the same time period. The district went from having 8 "choice students" to having 135 five years later in 2014-15. If we subtract "choice students" from the full enrollment, we get a much better sense of the Hoboken resident student population:
So, what do we learn? Well…
1) since Kids First took full supermajority control of the Hoboken Public Schools from the 2009-10 school year to the current 2014-15 school year, the K-12 District enrollment has dropped 19.4%.
2) since Kids First took full supermajority control of the Hoboken Public Schools from the 2009-10 school year to the current 2014-15 school year, the K-12 Resident District enrollment has dropped 25.3% or from 2176 to 1625.
3) since Kids First took full supermajority control of the Hoboken Public Schools from the 2009-10 school year to the current 2014-15 school year, the number of "school choice" students has risen from 8 to 135 or a 15 fold increase (+1500%).
4) Charter enrollment during the same period in Hoboken increased by 312 students during the Kids First era. Rather than compete and offer a competitive educational experience, the Kids First majority has chosen to pursue lawsuits.
I know a little about the school choice program. It was while I was in the district in April of 2009 that Superintendent Raslowsky and I proposed it to the then Hoboken School Board and it passed 6-2 (the opposing votes were…Kids First members). The original vision was this would bring in about 10-20 students a year to the district. Interestingly, there was one Kids First member who did vote for the school choice program. Trustee Carrie Gillard was quoted in the Hoboken Reporter as saying
"We have a high school that's almost empty. We need to do something" -Trustee Gillard April, 2009 (Hoboken Reporter)
A look at the ASSA report indicates the enrollment in the high school (grades 9-12) when Trustee Gillard made that statement in the spring of 2009 was 518. The latest numbers indicate there are now 416 students in grades 9-12…and that includes over 130 school choice students. So, the Hoboken resident high school enrollment has gone from about 518 students in April of 2009 to about 286 today (2014-15 ASSA Report). Yet, according to Board President Ruth McAllister (Pryor) the "high school is full"…
424 less students during the Kids First era…and the budget has risen every year, under 300 resident students enrolled in high school grades 9-12 and the budget has risen every year...recall the contentious 5-4 vote which "saved" us from the opportunity of voting on the budget.