Charter School Review Must Address Funding Bias Against Charter Schools

This is a press release from the New Jersey Charter School Association. Those interested in the state’s “comprehensive review” of NJ charter schools can submit written feedback and attend meetings. For information about how you can contribute, click here. (And do it soon! The DOE has established a very short window for accepting comments.)  For my own concerns about the Murphy Administration’s oversight of the charter sector, see my column today in NJ Spotlight.

Charter School Student and Parent Voices Must Be Heard

Today, State Commissioner Dr. Lamont Repollet officially announced that the New Jersey Department of Education will conduct a “comprehensive review” of New Jersey’s public charter schools, including a review of the laws that govern how charter schools operate in the state.

“New Jersey’s charter schools are providing fifty thousand New Jersey students, predominantly minority and low-income families, with life-changing choices and educational opportunities.  It is critical that the voices of families served by charters schools are heard and listened to during the review,” said Harry Lee, Interim President, New Jersey Charter Schools Association. “Despite inadequate funding and no funding for school facilities, families across New Jersey want the option of a public charter school.  In addition to the fifty thousand students attending a public charter school, thirty-five thousand more are on wait lists. The voices and stories of these families must be part of this review and their educational desires and needs must be considered.”

“We hope the charter review isn’t a forum for anti-charter school special interests to attack and undermine the choices our families have made,” added Lee.

Harry Lee remarked about charters closing the achievement gap despite numerous hurdles, saying, “Through this process, our students and families will speak first hand to their reasons for making their choice, the impact it has had on their lives, and the challenges our schools face due to less funding than other public schools. Our families are also best positioned to dispel the many myths and baseless claims made against charter schools by our opponents. The fact is, New Jersey charter schools are providing a high-quality public education to tens of thousands of students and closing the achievement gap. The charter community looks forward to discussing our many successes, as well as the obstacles our schools face, including lack of equitable funding, particularly for facilities.”

What do you think?

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