In October of 2016, New Jersey Department of Education Acting Commissioner Kimberly Harrington shared the following:
In November 2015, Governor Christie met with State and national charter operators to discuss the state of public charter schools in New Jersey. During this discussion, many charter operators explained that New Jersey’s regulatory environment is a major impediment to growth of the charter sector in the State.
During the last several months, the Department of Education has worked with charter leaders in New Jersey and national charter experts to develop recommendations to offer school operators increased autonomy and opportunities for innovation in exchange for accountability for student outcomes.
The proposed regulatory changes will ensure charter schools have increased flexibility, autonomy, and time to innovate and produce strong educational outcomes for all students. In addition, the proposed changes will incentivize operators both in-State and out-of-State to invest in New Jersey.
The Department proposes to add, amend, repeal, and recodify rules in five chapters in Title 6A of the New Jersey Administrative Code to achieve the following:
- Permit a weighted lottery for charter school enrollment;
- Establish an expedited renewal process for high-performing charters;
- Permit single-purpose charter schools;
- Ease the way for charter schools to secure facilities and capital funding;
- Establish a pilot program for charter-specific teacher, administrator, and school business administrator certifications;
- Streamline procedures around budgetary controls and fund monitoring; and
- Enact other regulatory changes.
iLearn Schools believes that these changes will allow charter schools greater flexibility in our ability to hire talented staff, a smoother process for charter school teachers to gain administrative certification, provide the option for a weighted lottery, and a host of other benefits that will improve our ability to offer the best possible education to our students.
On November 2nd, 2014, and January 4th, 2017, four representatives in total from iLearn Schools submitted written testimony and testified at the public hearings in front of the NJ State Board of Education in support of specific subchapters within the proposed regulations.
You can read each testimonial here:
You can view a presentation of the proposed charter school regulatory changes prepared by the NJDOE’s Office of Charter and Renaissance Schools here.