Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Christie Aims To Make NJ Leader In School Choice

Continuing New Jersey’s leadership in a nationwide movement to provide high-quality education options for every child, Governor Chris Christie today signed a proclamation designating January 22 - 28, 2012 as School Choice Week in New Jersey for the second consecutive year.

“Every child, no matter what their zip code, deserves a quality education. With more than 100,000 children trapped in nearly 200 chronically failing schools in New Jersey, the need for education reform has never been greater,” said Governor Chris Christie. “From expanded charter school alternatives to renaissance schools, this Administration is delivering effective educational choices to bring hope and the opportunity for a brighter future to students and their families. I urge the Legislature to join me by acting on other key elements of our aggressive education reform agenda to make these goals a reality.”

In states across the country, parents and advocates for real education reform are standing up to during National School Choice Week to bring attention to the need for effective educational options for every child, regardless of their zip code or economic circumstances.

Governor Christie has made a reform agenda aimed at bringing a great education to every student a top priority of his Administration, and already secured several key achievements to provide more options for children and families trapped in failing schools:

· This month, Governor Christie signed into law the Urban Hope Act to provide more high-quality education options – renaissance schools – in some of the state’s worst performing school districts.

· On Friday, Governor Christie announced the approval of 8 new charter schools. Along with 25 charter applications approved in previous rounds, these approvals bring the total number of charter schools eligible to open in September 2012 to 33, pending approval during the Department’s readiness review. Currently, 80 charter schools operate in New Jersey, serving approximately 26,500 children;

· In Fall 2010, Governor Christie signed into law and has aggressively implemented the Interdistrict Public School Choice bill;

· Governor Christie has put forward a specific package of legislation to bring needed reform to public education in New Jersey – including a revamp of the state’s charter law, the Opportunity Scholarship Act and proposals to reform tenure, compensation and hiring practices to identify and reward the work done by the many excellent teachers in the state.

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