Should charter schools be able to expand in some communities through a different process than in others?
In January 2013, NJ Education Commissioner Chris Cerf pushed through new regulations that create a separate and unequal charter school approval process for Newark, Camden, Paterson, Jersey City, Trenton, and many other communities.
The Education Law Center filed a lawsuit to stop these new regulations as a violation of NJ charter law.
Save Our Schools NJ supported that lawsuit with an Amicus Brief written by a Pro Bono attorney, which questioned the fairness of treating communities of color differently than the rest of the state.
While this lawsuit is being decided, two charter schools have applied to expand using these illegal and very discriminatory regulations.
The schools are Merit Prep Charter School of Newark
Democracy Prep Charter School of Camden.
Save Our Schools NJ demands that Commissioner Cerf not approve any charter school expansions until the legality of this separate and unequal process is decided by the courts.
The Commissioner also should not approve any expansions without sharing the charter school expansion applications with the people of Camden and Newark and allowing them and their elected representatives to respond.
New Jersey does not need more backroom deliberations and top-down decision making.
We also do not need a dual system of local democratic control for some districts and not others.