The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) on March 1 announced decisions made on charter schools, including new charter school applications, charter renewals, amendment requests for expansions, and closures.

The state granted 22 charter schools approval to expand, and closed three low-performing charter schools, all of which had been on probation. There were four applications for new charter schools, but none were approved.

Charter schools are public schools, which receive public funding, but are privately run.

“All New Jersey public schools, which include charter schools, must be held to a high standard in order to ensure that all of our children receive the quality educational experiences they deserve,” said Acting Education Commissioner Kimberley Harrington.

“These decisions reflect this Administration’s continued commitment to hold low-performing charter schools accountable, while expanding access for New Jersey families to high-quality charter schools,” she said.

Public Charter School Expansion Requests

Nine charter schools requested an expansion as part of the renewal process that each charter school undergoes every five years, and the NJDOE granted seven of these requests. The NJDOE granted 15 additional charter school expansion requests through an amendment process that allows the school to expand outside of their renewal. (Charts identifying the approved expansions are below.)

Public Charter School Renewals

The NJDOE evaluates all charter schools every five years that are up for renewal on their academic performance, fiscal viability, and operational stability. Of the 22 charter schools up for renewal this year, the NJDOE renewed 21 schools. Due to continued low academic performance, the Camden Community Charter School was not renewed.

New Public Charter School Applications

The NJDOE did not approve any of the four applicants who were invited to submit Phase Two applications to the NJDOE as part of the October Expedited Charter Application Round because they did not meet the requirements under the NJDOE’s rigorous approval process.

Public Charter School Closures

The NJDOE is required to ensure that all New Jersey public schools, including charter schools, offer students a quality education. Charter schools must demonstrate strong academic performance and are held accountable for student outcomes. The NJDOE is closing three low-performing charter schools, all of which are located in Newark (Newark Prep Charter School; Merit Preparatory Charter School; and Paulo Freire Charter School). All were on probation.

Since 2010, the Department has closed 20 of the lowest-performing charter schools for poor academic performance or organizational and fiscal issues.

 

Approved Expansion Decisions (Renewal Process)

School NameYear OpenedDistrict or Region of Residence2016-17 Grades and Approved SeatsGrades and Approved Seats with Expansion at Scale
Englewood on the Palisades Charter School1998EnglewoodK-6, 252K-8, 324
Hope Community Charter School2013CamdenK-4, 330K-5, 330
Jersey City Global Charter School2013Jersey CityK-5, 480K-6, 480
Jersey City Golden Door Charter School1998Jersey CityPK-8, 549PK-8, 720
Philip’s Academy Charter School2013NewarkK-8, 378PK-12, 816
Paterson Arts and Science Charter School2013PatersonK-8, 540K-12, 897
Paterson Charter School for Science & Technology2003PatersonK-12, 1,068K-12, 1,584

Approved Expansion Decisions (Amendment Process)

School NameYear OpenedDistrict or Region of Residence2016-17 Grades and Approved SeatsGrades and Approved Seats with Expansion at Scale
Central Jersey College Prep Charter School2006New Brunswick, North Brunswick, FranklinK-2, 6-12, 480K-12, 1,320
Environment Community Opportunity Charter School2005CamdenK-5, 330K-7, 320
Great Oaks Legacy Charter School2016NewarkPK-12, 1,536PK-12, 2,517
Hatikvah International Academy Charter School2010East BrunswickK-7, 400K-8, 500
Hope Academy Charter School2001Asbury ParkK-8, 207K-8, 253
Hudson Arts and Science Charter School2016Jersey City, KearnyK-5, 360K-8, 1,021
John P. Holland Charter School2011PatersonK-8, 201PK-8, 576
M.E.T.S. Charter School2011Jersey City, Newark6-12, 5606-12, 960
Millville Public Charter School2011MillvilleK-7, 313K-10, 567
Pace Charter School of Hamilton1999HamiltonK-5, 255K-6, 405
Passaic Arts and Science Charter School2011PassaicK-10, 860K-12, 1,021
Philip’s Academy Charter School of Paterson2016PatersonK, 54K-3, 285
Princeton Charter School1997PrincetonK-8, 348K-8, 424
University Heights Charter School2006NewarkPK-8, 750PK-8, 1,125
Vineland Public Charter School2009VinelandPK-9, 452PK-10, 576
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