Amendments to the 1995 Charter Act, regarding application, review, approval, and operation of charter schools in New Jersey.
NJEA supports A-4177 (Diegnan, Wagner, Jasey) as a significant and positive revision to the 1995 Charter Act resulting from New Jersey’s 17 years of operating charter schools. This bill:
- Refines the purpose and intent of the charter school program, specifying target groups for charter schools.
- Improves accountability and transparency measures for operation and closures, including budget and performance information.
- Requires QSAC as an evaluation measure for all charter schools.
- Requires certified New Jersey teachers in charter schools, which will ensure high standards for teacher quality and will promote teacher mobility between charter and traditional public schools.
- Revises the approval process to include a review board as well as local approval by vote of participating districts.
- Defines participating districts as contiguous districts of the charter schools district of residence.
- Encourages charter schools to ensure students represent the demographics of the sending districts.
A-4177 is a comprehensive update to the charter school program in New Jersey. The bill begins with the fundamental delineation of the purpose of charter schools in our public school system. It is comprehensive in addressing the application, review and approval process. It strengthens charter school accountability during operation and specifies procedures if a charter school closes. With these improvements charter schools will better serve students enrolled, ensure qualified teachers are employed, participate in a collaborative framework rather than adversarial with district public schools and be responsible and responsive to the communities in which they operate.
NJEA supports A-4177.