NJ Spotlight reported today that the New Jersey Supreme Court will hear an appeal by the Education Law Center (ELC) over its challenge to an expansion for Newark charter schools. ELC claims that the expansion would drain district funds and increase segregation, but a New Jersey appeals court upheld the expansion. So ELC appealed.
Famous for its role in the Abbott v. Burke cases that mandated additional funding for poorer school districts, the ELC has more recently taken the lead in anti-charter-school litigation. This aligns the ELC very closely with New Jersey’s most powerful special interest, the NJEA. It most surely does not align with the educational prospects of thousands of poor, largely minority kids currently on Newark charter school waitlists. These kids are looking for a chance for a better life but the ELC stands firmly against them.
Why would the ELC forsake its historic role in improving the educational prospects of poor kids? One answer might be that the NJEA has funded ELC with $3,742,000 (2009-2017) and maintains a prominent position on the ELC’s board. Sadly, the ELC looks more like the NJEA’s litigators than the famed civil rights attorneys of the past.
Read the NJ Spotlight piece here.