For Release: January 23, 2006
DOE Approves Six New Charter Schools, Renews 12
Six new charter school applications have been approved and 12 existing charter schools were granted charter renewals, Department of Education officials announced today.
Benchmark Academy Charter High School, Corbin City region, Atlantic County and Central Jersey College Prep Charter School, Franklin Township region, Middlesex and Somerset counties will begin operating in the 2006-07 school year.
The remaining four schools will begin operating in the 2007-08 school year. They are: Bergen Arts and Science Charter School, Hackensack region, Bergen County; TLC Charter School, Cherry Hill, Camden County; Adelaide L. Sanford Charter School, Newark, Essex County; and Foundation Academy Charter School, Trenton, Mercer County.
“Charter schools give our students important choices,” said Acting Commissioner of Education Lucille E. Davy. “I congratulate the founding members of our newest charter schools and wish them success as they prepare for their first year.
“We expect these charter schools will join an impressive group of schools that give students alternatives in their K-12 education,” Davy said. “We know that there are students who benefit from a charter school education, and we’re proud to support that opportunity.”
Charter schools were established under a state law enacted in 1996 to expand public school choice and encourage school reform.
The law establishes charter schools as laboratories of educational innovation where new practices can be developed and implemented in schools throughout New Jersey. As of the start of the 2005-06 school year, 51 schools are serving approximately 14,900 students throughout the state.
The six applications approved were among 25 applications received by the Department of Education in July. Unsuccessful applicants are invited to reapply in the next round of the selection process. They may also request a meeting with staff from the Office of Vocational-Technical, Career and Innovative Programs to discuss the applications prior to reapplying.
State law permits initial charters to be granted for four years. Two intensive monitoring reviews are conducted during the first contract period: a program review in year two of the charter and a second review during year four in which the Commissioner is charged with determining whether the initial four-year charter should be renewed for another five years.
The 12 charter schools that received renewals for five years are (the first 10 first opened in 1997, the remaining two opened in 2002):
A complete list of the six new programs and information about them, as submitted by school officials, is attached. For more information, please contact the Department of Education Public Information Office at (609) 292-1126.