NJEA will appeal charter ruling

Will also seek legislation barring all-virtual charters

Published on Wednesday, April 9, 2014

NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer issued the following statement in response to the ruling by the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey on so-called “blended” charter schools:

“Even though this ruling is limited to so-called ‘blended’ charters, NJEA intends to appeal it to the state Supreme Court.

“We have always taken the position that unless the Legislature grants specific authority with respect to charter schools, that authority does not exist.  The court has apparently taken the view that absent legislation prohibiting virtual instruction in blended charters, it is permissible.

“The charter school law would not exist without specific action by the Legislature.  Accordingly, we believe the Legislature should address this issue by specifically prohibiting charters that are completely virtual in nature.  In states where such charters are permitted, they have a spotty track record at best, and have in many cases been nothing more than a scam at taxpayer expense.

“The court’s ruling makes it clear that virtual instruction in a ‘blended’ charter is merely another ‘learning tool’ within the walls of a brick and mortar school, staffed by real teachers.  This ruling makes it clear that there must be further consideration of this matter by the Legislature, and NJEA will be discussing this issue with legislators in the very near future.”

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