The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools calls New Jersey’s school laws among the nation’s weakest, but Gov. Chris Christie’s administration plans to introduce more charter schools this week, njspotlight.com
The alliance, in its annual report, ranked the state’s law 31st out of 42 overall, saying the state lacks strong accountability measures because of performance, weak funding and limited approval and review.
The state’s current law, along with its inability to enforce it, is inadequate, claim people who both support and criticize the charter-school system. There are some bills pending to strengthen the state’s laws, including increasing the number of officials who can review and monitor new charter schools.
Several new charters are to be announced this week, coming from an applicant pool of more than 40. The newest class of charter schools likely won’t be a large one, as only four facilities were approved during the last round.
Christie last week said the charter law needs “sweeping changes. The current laws act as a deterrent to growth, rather than foster expansion of quality charter schools.”
Some supporters remain cautious as legislation comes for the charter program.
“I am cautiously optimistic we can get some progressive reforms in charter school law, as well as tenure,” said state Assemblyman Albert Coutinho. “I have to say I am extremely frustrated at the slow pace of this, but you have to keep at it.”
A bill has been pre-filed for today that will increase accountability and require more information about those locations accepted for charter schools and places that are on the waiting list, as well as when a charter can be revoked.
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