MORRISTOWN, NJ - Unity Charter School, which aims to "provide academic programs that integrate the priniciples of sustainability with the New Jersey Core Content Curriculum Standards", made a request to The State of New Jersey to expand their student body from 240 to 295 students.
The State denied the school's bid for expansion based on low test scores. The school was notified by letter on Monday.
"Our goal as a school is always to enhance opportunities for our students", stated Connie Sanchez, Executive Director of Unity Charter School. "Unity's expansion plans were driven by a single focus on student achievement. Increasing enrollment by 55 students over 5 years would have enabled us to reach many goals in our 5 year strategic plan, particularly those related to student achievement and learning environment".
According to Speak Up New Jersey, this is the third request the school has made within five years. The group, which oppossed the charter school's bid for expansion, believed the expansion could cost the Morris School District up to $2 million per year, impacting the funding of its own programs and education of its 5000 students. A petition, requesting the State of New Jersey to refuse Unity Charter's request for expansion was created and had collected 148 signatures before the deadline.
If the expansion was approved the school would have been able to increase the space to 8,000 square feet in the existing location which would have housed a science lad and "creator space".
"Despite this setback, we remain committed to these goals and will continue to improve our students' educational experiences", continued Sanchez. "With 162 students currently on our wait list for the 2016-17 school year, we know families are looking for innovative educational experiences, which we will continue to provide to our community of learners."