Transcript of the SRC testimony of Karel Kilimnik

Karel Kilimnik
Click the picture to view Karel’s testimony. Click on timestamp 2:59.

Dr Hite just released the 2018 Action Plan Status Update that states anchor goal 4 Districtwide financial stability is allowing us to make investments to improve the education our students receive. 100%of funding for great schools is secured with zero deficit. Approving any of these charter applications jeopardizes this goal. CFO Uri Monson has consistently stated that the most expensive budget item is charter schools. Attorney David Lapp knocked holes in the excuse that financial distress is not a valid reason to deny their application.

These applications serve up grandiose rhetoric extolling their virtues but if you read the CSO Reports there are numerous problems with each and every one. Do you really want to help solve Aspira’s financial problems by allowing them to open two more charter schools?

Does our District need a school that teaches Hebrew and about the state of Israel, a country that has dehumanized Palestinians and is planning a mass deportation of African immigrants?

Both Mastery and MaST are planning on opening two schools simultaneously. Charter schools always denigrate district schools when making their pitch. Yet SPR scores at several Mastery schools have shrunk under their management. Their application fails to include letters of intent to enroll from parents in their targeted area.

Both Franklin Towne and MaST have majority white student populations with virtually no ELL’s. Franklin Towne’s financial and real estate entanglements are a major reason to deny them yet another school.

There is a vacuum of actual evidence that the charter sector, taken as a whole, is producing any better results than the school district. Yet they portray themselves as victims of unfair conditions being set by the District. In reality they are only being asked to follow the state Charter School law.

These applications contain promises as to how they will tailor their model to the specific needs of their proposed student population without providing specifics as to how this will occur, their enrollment plans are simply unrealistic, and their jargon is just that with little substance. There is a limited pool of students. These new schools will poach students from not only district schools but from other charter schools. Approving these charters destabilizes district schools, adds to the district budget deficit…do you really want this to be your legacy?

Commissioners, you have a pivotal decision to make tonight that will impact our District long after the SRC expires on June 30. You can deny all these applications or you can cause further harm to our district by awarding contracts that will drain resources and staff for years. I urge you to do the right thing and deny every one of these applications.

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