Testimony of Karel Kilimnik to the BOE Jan 17, 2019

Good evening everyone.

We need the Board to Just Say No to approving any more charters. Take a courageous stand for all of the students in the District by refusing to approve any more. You are at a critical juncture in your freshman year of governing the District. Will you step up and take a stand for students in district-managed schools or will you capitulate to the interests of charter management companies and their legislative supporters eager for more backpacks full of cash crossing their portals.  Many of us  have testified at Committee and Action meetings laying out numerous reasons for you to take this stance.

Board members, become leaders of courage. Use that $40 million that would go into these 3 new charter schools for a little over 2,000 students over five years to speed up renovations, repairs, and lead and asbestos removal in school  buildings. No child should get 2nd degree burns from a faulty electrical outlet while in school. That $40 million can go towards restoring school libraries with a certified school librarian; lowering class size; putting a classroom assistant in every kindergarten class; bringing back Non- Teaching Assistants; and ensuring that every school has an adequate number of counselors and nurses. Until this happens there should be a moratorium on approving charter schools. At almost every board committee meeting the issue of equity is raised by board members. How can there be any equity in a system that does not provide for its own with its limited funds? Turn a deaf ear to the political pressures put on you . Do the right thing and say no to approving more charter schools. Stop asphyxiating our schools by denying them the funding they need to survive.

My question for tonight -If the Board votes to deny and the charter decides to follow legal options to challenge your decision – who pays for their legal counsel? Do they have a legal fund or does it come out of their school budget that is funded with our tax dollars?