New Jersey’s Charter Schools Share What’s Working and What’s Not During Remote Instruction

This is a guest post by Harry Lee, president and CEO of the New Jersey Public Charter School Association. It first appeared in NJ Spotlight. School districts across New Jersey are nearing the end of the state’s first foray into remote learning, due to COVID-19 school closures. As we reach the end of the school year, and begin planning for an upcoming year that looks increasingly uncertain, the state’s educational and policy leaders should take …

A Tale of Two Cities: Remote Instruction in Princeton and Trenton

We’re about 5 weeks into our coronavirus lock-down in New Jersey, about a month since much of America has embarked on a national experiment of remote instruction that likely will continue for the duration of the school year.  In New Jersey this means 555 school districts are independently creating remote learning plans, coming up with laptop distribution strategies, figuring out meal delivery for low-income kids, and setting expectations for students. On the face of it, …

Listen Up, New Jersey: It’s Time to Respect Parent Choice and Fairly Fund Public Charter School Facilities.

This is a guest post by Harry Lee, president of the New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association, and Patricia Morgan, executive director of JerseyCAN. Every student in New Jersey deserves to go to school in a safe, secure, and healthy school building. Since the 1980’s (when the New Jersey Supreme Court established a constitutional mandate that the state provide funding to low-income school districts), the state of New Jersey has spent roughly $15 billion on …

Leaked NJ DOE Email: “I’ve Been Forced Into Early Retirement by Assistant Commissioner Linda Eno.”

[Update: Yesterday Asst. Comm. Eno announced to staff that she is leaving the Department of Education in June.] This is an email sent Friday by a 20-year staff member of the New Jersey Department of Education who must take an early retirement due to unreasonable strictures imposed by Assistant Commissioner Linda Eno. This employee works on Whole School Reform in one of the state’s four Learning Resource Centers which provide free or low-cost onsite support …

New Jersey’s School Funding Formula Unfairly Privileges Some Not-So-Poor “Abbott” Districts.

This is a guest post by @stateaidguy who blogs at New Jersey Education Aid, where this piece was first published in slightly different form. Over the last 35 years, New Jersey’s 31 Abbott districts — which, by order of a series of State Supreme Court rulings, receive high levels of funding — have become increasingly disparate. If New Jersey’s school funding formula (SFRA) was anchored in reality, many of these districts would no longer be …

Here’s A (Hot Off The Press) Letter From 8 Charter Schools Correcting Education Law Center’s False Assertions.

Last week I wrote about Education Law Center’s attempt to close down preschool programs for low-income children run by charter schools in Abbott districts. Today the eight charter schools, as well as New Jersey Charter School Association and New Jersey Children’s Foundation, sent the following letter to Cary Booker, the Department of Education’s Assistant Commissioner for Early Childhood, correcting misinformation provided by ELC Executive Director David Sciarra. December 18, 2019  Cary Booker, Assistant Commissioner – …

Education Law Center’s New Lawsuit For Abbott District Construction Is Based On A Reality That Is 40 Years Old.

This is a guest post by Jeffrey Bennett, who blogs at New Jersey Education Aid. It originally appeared in ROI. Nearly 40 years ago, in February 1981, the Education Law Center launched on behalf of poor, urban districts statewide what would become the most educationally and budgetarily consequential lawsuits in New Jersey history: Abbott v. Burke. Although former Education Commissioner Fred G. Burke is long departed, and the close identification of “poor” with “urban” has ceased to …

Four Ways that Education Law Center Reveals Its Hypocrisy.

Education Law Center is having a temper tantrum. In a letter to the New Jersey Department of Education, the law group, which operates as an arm of NJEA, calls for “the NJ Department of Education (NJDOE) to immediately end the unauthorized practice of allowing charter schools in poor urban Abbott districts to operate separate preschool programs outside the districts’ universal ‘Abbott Preschool Program.’” Why? Because “only Abbott districts are allowed to operate high-quality preschools” and the …

Education Law Center’s Footprint Shrinks as It Ignores the Needs of Charter School Students.

Ah, Education Law Center. Some things never change. The organization, largely funded by NJEA, is back in court demanding money for construction for an obsolete list of 31 “Abbott” school districts that were once impoverished. Some of them still are, like Newark and Camden and Trenton. Some of them never were, like Burlington City and Pemberton. And some were once poor but now boast multi-million dollar luxury co-ops, like Hoboken and Jersey City.  But here’s …

Why, Asked a Tweeter, Is Asbury Park Public Schools’ Cost Per Pupil Over $40K? Here’s My Answer.

Such a good question, Madeline! What does Asbury Park Public Schools do with all that money, even as enrollment declines? With schools all over the state cutting costs, why is this happening? I mean, $42K a kid? Those students must be academic superstars! After all, that’s the basis for New Jersey’s Abbott decisions: As Education Law Center explains, ELC’s legal and policy advocacy, which includes such landmark rulings as Abbott v. Burke, has significantly advanced the …