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number of charter schools approved in an application cycle since the Charter School Program Act was signed into law in 1995.

Governor Christie’s commitment to high-quality charter expansion and greater choice will allow for a total of 97 charter schools serving approximately 25,000 students to be operating by September 2011, offering students and parents more and better educational choices. The Christie Administration will continue to facilitate the expansion of high-quality charters, while demanding accountability and results from existing charters.

Governor Christie signed into law and is aggressively implementing the Interdistrict Public School Choice Program Act. Governor Christie has called for passage of the Opportunity Scholarship Act to provide immediate relief for 3,800 children in 205 chronically failing schools.

In January, Governor Christie delivered to the Legislature a specific legislative proposal for significant changes to strengthen and improve New Jersey’s charter school law. Governor Christie is calling for swift action by the Legislature to advance these changes to New Jersey’s charter law and provide for an improved authorizing and application process, greater flexibility in charters’ operations and the removal of hurdles to opening new and innovative types of charter schools. The changes sought include:

  • Adding Multiple Authorizers

    • o

      31 NJ public colleges (research, 4-year and 2-year) and all local school boards eligible to become authorizers if approved by the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) and enter into a contract with NJDOE

  • Encouraging Charter School Applicants

      • o

        Attracting best operators to NJ and encouraging top NJ charters to expand through a streamlined application process;

      • o

        Larger charter school enrollment regions; and

      • o

        Rolling applications.

  • Flexibility with Operations and Administration

    • o

      Providing blanket waiver from all traditional public school regulations and statutes other than in the areas of academic standards, assessment, testing, civil rights, student health and safety, and open public records

  • Flexibility with Employees

      • o

        Elimination of certification requirements but possibly covered in new performance contract;

      • o

        Elimination of tenure; and,

      • o

        More salary flexibility for charter schools by eliminating the existing limits.

  • Allowing single-gender schools;

  • Encouraging special education/inclusion-focused schools;

  • Encouraging charters to incorporate more efficient on-line learning instructional models;

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