Think whatever you want about Camden's renaissance charter schools. But how can anyone think it's a good idea to ram through a charter school bill with a voice vote and without the benefit of public committee hearings?Senate President Stephen Sweeney is poised to pass S2264, legislation that amends the 2013 Urban Hope Act in order to accommodate illegally approved renaissance charter schools in Camden. Senator Sweeney is bringing this legislation to a full Senate vote on Monday, September 22, without first introducing it in committee. This legislation was already snuck through the Legislature once in late June.“The handwriting is on the wall,” said Susan Cauldwell, Executive Director of Save Our Schools NJ Community Organizing.“If the legislature allows this undemocratic transfer of Camden public education to private control, district schools will be forced to close, and the education of Camden schoolchildren and the oversight of hundreds of millions of our tax dollars will be in the hands of entities that are unaccountable to New Jersey families and taxpayers.”“The people of New Jersey deserve more transparency and accountability from their elected officials, especially when our children’s futures are at stake,” Ms. Cauldwell added.
I understand that this is South Jersey, and whatever George Norcross wants, George Norcross gets. But can't we at least pretend we're in a transparent democracy? Can't we at least give the people of Camden, who have been stripped of their right to autonomy, a chance to speak up before New Jersey's elected officials and have their voices heard?
Is that really too much to ask?