Charter schools proposed for Princeton and Ewing, two suburban communities in New Jersey, were among 13 applications rejected by the Christie administration. Most of the charters in the state are in urban areas.
There’s no difference in the criteria used to select charters in cities and the suburbs, according to Nicole Cole, CEO of the New Jersey Charter Schools Association. Their growth depends on public demand to provide a high-quality educational opportunity.
“The most obvious need is in the urban districts,” she said. “The demands are extraordinary there. So in some of the other communities there are more parochial schools, more private schools … it’s a different set of circumstances.”
More than 20,000 students statewide are on waiting lists to attend a charter school, she said, adding that she supports the state Education Department’s rigorous process for approving charters.
Nine proposals have advanced to the second stage of the selection process for new charters that would open in September of next year.