PublicSchoolOptions.org President Beth Purcell today voiced her resounding support for the New Jersey Superior Court decision to grant charter requests, a ruling that allows for online public charter schools in the state:
“The New Jersey Education Association attempted to halt school choice options for New Jersey students by filing a lawsuit which would prevent two blended learning schools that serve many at-risk kids from receiving charter approval status. PublicSchoolOptions.org rallied concerned parents to join the fight, and filed an amicus brief in the suit. Today, we won. We applaud the Superior Court’s ruling and will be asking Commissioner Hespe to put students first by overturning Commissioner Cerf’s decision and allow for a statewide virtual charter school.”
One of these parents, Stacey Rahim, is on the board of Newark Preparatory Charter School. She is encouraged by today’s decision:
“The blended model education offers a different choice to parents, it allows students to learn in a way that best fits their life circumstances. All forms of education should be open in this state, even though I am glad of the decision today parents should not need the approval of court to tell them how they are allowed to teach their children.”
In its ruling today, the court disagreed with the New Jersey Education Association’s (NJEA) initial claim that the state’s Charter School Act does not give the Commissioners authority to approve schools that offer portions of their teaching online:
“The Legislature may not have contemplated the use of internet-based teaching when the Act was passed in 1995, but the Act cannot be read narrowly as only allowing methods that were in existence at its inception. Certainly, the Legislature did not intend to exclude advances in technology from charter school classrooms. It intended just the opposite.”
The decision affirms the authority the Department of Education has to approve blended schools as a viable option for New Jersey students. PublicSchoolOptions.org applauds the New Jersey Superior Court for allowing equal access to educational choice for deserving students across the state.
PublicSchoolOptions.org is a national, nonprofit alliance of parents, students and teachers who believe that not all students learn in the same way, and because of this, families should have access to many different quality public school options, including charter and cyber charter schools.