Under New Jersey’s charter school law, new charter schools are approved entirely by the State’s Commissioner of Education. Local communities have no voice in the current charter school approval process. Yet, funding for charter schools comes out of local public school budgets.
New Jersey is alone in allowing the State to force local communities to pay for unlimited numbers of new charter schools, with no concern for the wishes of those communities. Across the United States, ninety percent of all charter school authorizers are local. New Jersey residents overwhelmingly supportfixing the State’s broken charter school law to require local approval for new charter schools.
On March 15, 2012 the New Jersey Assembly passed a bill requiring local approval for new charter schools. This legislation now goes to the New Jersey Senate, where it has bipartisan sponsorship and support.
Help pass this legislation by signing our petition and letting Senate President Sweeney, the Senate Education Committee and your State Senator know that you want to be able to decide if a new charter school should open in your community.
Sign this petition and help bring democracy back!
This bill has strong, bi-partisan support in both the Assembly and the State Senate² More critically, this bill is very strongly supported by the voters. A June 2011 Rutgers Eagleton poll found that 73 percent of New Jersey residents want new charter schools to be approved locally, including at least 73 percent of republicans, democrats and independents.³
This is a common-sense reform that would bring New Jersey's charter law in line with the rest of the country. Nationally, 90 percent of all charter school authorizers are local.⁴
Only New Jersey’s charter school law completely ignores local wishes, allowing the Commissioner of Education to force communities to pay for an unlimited number of new charter schools.
There is no reason to wait. The voters want local control over the establishment of new charter schools and this bill would do exactly that.
I urge you to support this bill and to bring democracy to New Jersey’s charter school approval and oversight.