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New Jersey: Charter School Situation Under Review, Pro-Charter Folks Wary

October 10, 2018

New Jersey education commissioner, Lamont Repollet, is in the process of reviewing the state of New Jersey’s education system. In the meantime, noticeably fewer charter schools are being approved or expanded.

Repollet is trying to assure stakeholders that he is neutral concerning charter schools and that he simply wants “quality schools.” And even though Repollet says that charters in New Jersey are under no “deliberate moratorium,” still, it seems that the NJ charter slowdown has charter advocates on edge.

John Mooney of the NJ Spotlight offers the following summary of the NJ-school-review situation, excerpts of which I offer here:

State Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet is embarking on a review of the state’s burgeoning charter school movement, with an eye on addressing both performance and budget issues in the schools and their host districts. …

In the latest cycle of applications, the administration this month rejected the last of the bids for new charter schools opening next year, after also rejecting five expansions last spring. One new school is opening under a previous cycle of applications, but it is a clear slowdown from former Gov. Chris Christie’s tenure and the state’s explosive growth of charters.

Repollet, at last week’s State Board of Education meeting, sought to assuage questions about the administration’s stance on the controversial schools, specifically saying there was no deliberate moratorium on approvals and the review was only part of a system-wide assessment.

“Before we do anything, we are going to assess the landscape and get feedback from everybody,” the commissioner said. “We are not going to get it from just one side, pro-charter or anti-charter.”

“We need to modernize and change,” Repollet continued. “This has been 20 years now, and we need to look at that.”

The commissioner and his staff have reached out to stakeholders on all sides of the debate concerning charters….

Repollet said forums will be held around the state, and the department will come back with recommendations to the state board. He cited as the biggest issue the financial pressures on both charter schools and their host districts that pay for students to attend the charter schools.

Mooney continues by noting that both the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) and Save Our Schools NJ support Repollet’s review and that, as expected, charter advocates are wary. I think they should be, based on a previous, noteworthy statement in Moody’s piece:

[Repollet] cited as the biggest issue the financial pressures on both charter schools and their host districts that pay for students to attend the charter schools.

It comes down to money, and competing schools pose an inefficient use of public funding.

We’ll see what happens.

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Want to read about the history of charter schools and vouchers?

School Choice: The End of Public Education? 

school choice cover  (Click image to enlarge)

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.

One Comment
  1. It’s not inefficient for those sucking profits off the backs of the students. Been a great moneymaker even for supposed non-profits.

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