New Jersey charter school overhaul ready for review

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 N.J. Gov. Chris Christie is shown visiting a sixth grade class at the Robert Treat Academy charter school in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, file)

N.J. Gov. Chris Christie is shown visiting a sixth grade class at the Robert Treat Academy charter school in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, file)

All eyes are on New Jersey State Assemblyman Troy Singleton and his legislation that revises a 20-year-old law governing charter schools. A final draft of the bill is ready for review, and it focuses on restructuring the charter school process, relieving the Department of Education of some responsibility when it comes to authorizing applicants.

NJ Spotlight founder and education writer John Mooney stopped by WHYY to discuss the bill. According to Mooney, a major point of contention in the state is that Singleton’s bill does not require a local vote for final approval of charters. However, he notes that, “some folks on the other side, especially in the charter community, have said that if it was left to local communities to approve charters none would be approved, or very few would be approved.”

Mooney also points out a curious omission in all of the proposals floating around: no mention of online charter schools. “New Jersey right now does not have law that addresses that, it does not have law that explicitly excludes it or prohibits it but so far even the Christie administration has not been willing to dive into that, realizing that’s a really hot issue these days and that’s probably going to requiring some legislation.”

Currently, the bill has no timetable, but it’s safe to say we won’t be waiting another two decades.

To listen to the interview with John Mooney, click the “speaker button” next to the headline above.

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