Is New Jersey's Charter School Movement Faltering?

National School Choice Week kicks off its cross-country Whistle Stop Tour.

In 2013, the New Jersey Department of Education approved the opening of just three new charter schools statewide out of an applicant pool of 38. Have New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) and Education Commissioner Chris Cerf, who in the past have been outspoken supporters of school choice, lost interest? Currently, New Jersey has just 87 charter schools out of 2,492 public schools altogether.

"I'm concerned that a state as populous as New Jersey has so few charter schools compared to other areas of the country," says Larry Patton, who's the head of school at the Princeton Charter School. "There's a resistance to their growth that's pretty firm in New Jersey."

Reason TV spoke to some of the leading advocates for school choice in the Garden State at an event in Newark on January 22, 2014, marking the kick off of National School Choice Week and its Whistle Stop Tour, which is comprised of a series of events across the country to promote educational freedom. The event was immediately followed by the Second Annual New Jersey School Choice Summit, which was hosted by Choice Media.

Produced by Jim Epstein and hosted by Naomi Brockwell.

About 4.30

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  • Lady Bertrum||

    "100 million dollars for the same shit show."

    That's right.

    Most of Jersey will resist charters or any other change to public schools for two reasons: 1)Most white people are reasonably happy with the way things are. Jersey is profoundly segregated and the mostly white districts are high performing. 2) White Jersey bought-off brown Jersey with the Abbott law. There are many, many pigs at the trough in these disadvantaged districts who will fight snout and hoof to protect their turf. Disadvantaged districts designated "Abbott" typically receive twice the funding as non-Abbott districts.

  • KDN||

    You should probably put quotes around disadvantaged. Hoboken's one of the 10 wealthiest jurisdictions in the state and somehow they're still getting Abbott money.

    Otherwise, spot on.

  • David Wall||

    Libertarians who support the "charter schools" or "school choice" movement are principle-challenged. To support such measures is to support the institution of public education and the premises it is based. Public schools are tyrannical, e.g., they exist by virtue of government force. State force is used for financing--tax payers are forced to pay for schools even if they do not have kids or if they send their kids to private schools. Public schools use state force in obtaining customers--truancy laws force parents to send the children to often unsafe and definitely ineffective schools. Public schools use force in demanding a certain curriculum--that in many subjects propagandizes for the state. State force is imposed by union supported mandates that force school administrators to keep poor teachers or even harmful teachers. State force is used to keep out competition in demanding state registration of private schools whose charters can be revoked if they do not uphold state rules.

    Public schools are fascist, corrupt and dangerous both mentally and physically to kids. They should be abolished. The arguments are there to be used. Libertarians should use them rather than waste time and moral credibility supporting the charter school movement.

  • KDN||

    For a variety of reason, you're not going to get public schooling abolished anytime soon. There's steps that need to be taken in order to get to that goal, and charters and vouchers are steps that can push things in that direction.

    I don't know why so many libertarians are averse to incrementalism. It's how the progs managed to take over this country and western culture as a whole over the past century. Take your small victories when you can and keep pushing for more.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Some people would rather be a party in principle rather than a party of principle.

    These are the same folks that would vote LP over Rand Paul for President.

  • Square||

    Oh calm down. The government providing education via tax money is hardly inherently fascist, and this sort of melodramatic shrieking is exactly why we have a hard time getting the general public to take libertarians seriously.

    You acknowledge the right to send your kids to a private school of your choosing, and then lament the truancy officers who "force parents to send the children to often unsafe and definitely ineffective schools."

    Have you ever actually seen a truancy officer? Is anyone actually forced to attend a particular school?

    Yes, tax money is used, but if you disagree with the very principle of taxation, then you are essentially an anarchist (dreamer), not a libertarian.

    The public schools tend to teach a pro-government bias in history classes, but their standards do not dictate that bias, and private schools are free to not have it.

    There are major problems in the public school system, no doubt, but let's recognize that there is middle ground between no public schooling whatsoever and Nazi Germany.

  • Robert||

    Public schools are tyrannic...

    Yeah, yeah, yeah...and school choice and charter schools make those qualities You might as well oppose reforms clamping down on police brutality because police depts. would still be tyrannic, etc.

  • pob||

    up to I saw the paycheck for $4756, I be certain that my sister was like they say actually earning money parttime at their laptop.. there sisters neighbour started doing this for under eighteen months and a short time ago cleard the loans on their cottage and bourt Acura. try this W­ o­ r­ k­ s­ 7­ 7­ .­ C­ O­ M­

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