Trenton, NJ – The New Jersey Department of Education today approved five charter schools to open in September for the 2014-2015 school year, including East Orange, Orange, Irvington and Newark.

“These approvals reinforce our commitment to providing New Jersey students access to high-quality public school options, regardless of economic and academic circumstances,” said Acting Education Commissioner David Hespe. “This Administration has made expanding opportunities for the children and parents of New Jersey a focal point for the Department, and these charter schools will give our students more choices to succeed.”

To receive approval, each charter school application must satisfy the Department’s rigorous multi-stage approval process, designed to identify the next high-quality charter schools.  As part of that process, the Department conducts a “preparedness review” to evaluate whether a charter applicant approved in a previous round has established the academic and operational components to offer a strong educational program. Applicants are also required to submit documentation showing compliance of state regulations to the Department by June 30, and then the Commissioner and Department staff review this information to determine which applicants will receive their final charter to open their doors in September.

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“Charter schools in New Jersey are held to a high standard,” said Acting Commissioner David Hespe. “Our rigorous approval process is designed to ensure that these schools are prepared to provide students with a high quality education.”

Over the past three years, the Department has increased its oversight and accountability for charter schools. Through a partnership with the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA), the Department during that time has opened 24 new charter schools, closed 12 of the lowest-performing schools for poor academic performance or organizational and fiscal issues, and put another 21 schools on probation.

Local Area Charter Schools

Link Community Charter School

(Newark, Orange, East Orange, Irvington)