TRENTON, NJ – The New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association today called on Congress to fully fund the federal “Charter Schools Program” – known as CSP. The program invests in new, high-quality public charter schools, which are free and open to all and are delivering exceptional outcomes for vulnerable children who need great classrooms most.

During the pandemic, public charter schools both across the nation and in New Jersey adapted to the unique circumstances that COVID-19 posed. When the crisis first emerged, they deployed technological tools – laptops, hotspots, and more – with comparative ease. Public charter school teachers went door to door for their kids, handing out academic packets and learning materials, ensuring that all children had access to their necessary coursework. Educators, so often doing a full day of live teaching virtually, worked around the clock to provide additional after-hours instruction on Zoom or over the phone to meet children where they were.

But now, at a time when we should all be coming together to support all of our children, Congress is considering cuts to the Charter Schools Program that funds new, high-quality public charter schools who so often support those most in-need. For New Jersey, this means tens of millions of dollars in funding lost for those communities where parents are clamoring for more public school options that meet their children’s needs. 

“Over the course of the COVID crisis, the 87 public charter schools across New Jersey serving more than 57,000 students showed what is possible when we, as a society, invest in great schools. The question facing America as we recover from this pandemic is, where do we go from here – and how do we do it together? The answer is simple: deliver educational justice by supporting public charter schools,” said Harry Lee, CEO of the New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association. “Public charter schools in New Jersey are truly a ticket to a strong education for tens of thousands of children across our state. Congress must stand up and do the right thing by funding the Charter School Program now, so that generations of children across our state and nation have access to the school that’s right for them.”

Data shows that public charter schools are working and are serving kids where the need is high. A recent Stanford University study showed that charter school achievement gains in Newark have been the best in the nation. Charter school students in New Jersey are exceeding expectations in ELA and Math, with 33% of students more likely to read at grade level, and 44% more likely to perform math at grade level than their traditional public school peers. Yet, today, there are 36,000 students currently sitting on wait lists clamoring to enroll into a better option, like a public charter school.

Charter schools across New Jersey are encouraging families and residents who believe in high quality school options to take action and contact their representatives to stand up for educational justice for children who need it most: Click here to send an email to your representatives in Washington.

About New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association

The New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association (NJPCSA) is the non-profit membership association that represents the state’s charter school community and, by extension, charter school students and their parents. There are currently 87 charter schools in New Jersey serving approximately 57,000 students. We are committed to advancing quality public education for New Jersey’s children through the cultivation of excellent public charter schools. The Association seeks to influence legislative and policy environments, leverage collective advocacy, and provide resources to support our members in developing and operating high quality, public charter schools.