New Jersey Department of Education

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Charter Schools

About the Office of Charter and Renaissance Schools

The Office of Charter and Renaissance Schools is dedicated to providing New Jersey families with high-quality schools.

The NJDOE is the State Education Agency (SEA) and sole charter school authorizer in New Jersey. The NJDOE is responsible for ensuring that charter schools are providing New Jersey students with a high-quality public education.

It authorizes charter schools consistent with national best practice in charter school authorizing*, offering school operators autonomy and opportunities for innovation in exchange for accountability for student outcomes.

Core Values:

  • Focus on student outcomes: The Performance Framework is used to focus everyone's attention on student achievement— all other considerations are secondary.    
  • High expectations: The Department is committed to ensuring that New Jersey families have access to charter schools that will "raise the bar" and "close the gap."  There is also the commitment to conducting our authorizing work consistent with New Jersey Charter Schools Association's (NACSA's) principles and standards.
  • Safeguard public interests: The NJDOE's decisions are based on applicable laws and regulations with a focus on whether or not schools are spending public funds responsibly, practicing sound governance, and adhering to relevant laws and charter requirements.
  • Transparency: Using rigorous and transparent processes, as well as the best data available, the Department provides stakeholders with clear, relevant and timely information about charter schools, charter school authorizing and charter school performance.
  • Continuous improvement: The Department expects to learn from its authorizing work and improve over time. It encourages input from stakeholders and reflects on its practice to identify opportunities for improvement.

*NACSA's Principles and Standards