Category Archives: charter schools

Christie Cuts State Aid To Middletown’s Schools By $7.2 Million, What does It Mean?

Wednesday afternoon School Districts all over the state learned how much state aid they could expect from Trenton this year, some districts had all state aid withheld while other had little to no aid cut from their budgets.

In Middletown’s case more than $7.2 million or roughly 34% has been cut from state aid, which is on top of the loss of over $2.8 million in surplus funds that Gov. Christie instructed the school system to use earlier this month to make up for the difference in aid that would not be coming to finish out the school year.

At last nights Board of Education meeting, the Board was suppose to unveil its proposed budget for the upcoming school year but could not due to the latest announcement.

Earlier this month, the Board already announced the layoff of 36 teachers, 18 paraprofessionals,2 administrators, 4 secretaries and 4 facilities staffers as a result of the aid cut, now what is the school district suppose to due about this latest announced aid cut that will amount to an $11 million hole in it’s budget, how many more staff members will Middletown lose as a result? I would think doubling the amount of staff cuts would be the starting point.
How many teachers, administrators and support staff will have to be let go? Will a school somewhere in the district have to be closed? If so, which one and what will that do to class sizes throughout the district. Class size averages about 22 kids per class right now, will class size increase to 35 or more per classroom?
How about after school programs and extra-curricular activities? Will sports programs be cut, what will Middletown do without football, soccer, wrestling, field hockey or other sports to keep the community and kids active, involved and engaged in school spirit, self-worth and education?
Gov. Christie doesn’t seem to be all that concerned about how these cuts in aid will effect the education of Middletown students or students in other school districts receive. It seems that all he is concerned about is breaking the back of the NJEA and its members, with little regard for the collateral damage that he will cause in the process.
Christie has told school districts across the state that there should be no need to cut programs or teachers to balance their budgets, he has stated to them that in essence, all a school district needs to do is break existing teacher contracts by freeze pending contractual teacher salary increase and imposing higher health care co-pays on the NJEA members. Which makes a lot of sense since Christie himself realized that he couldn’t do the same thing to state workers in order to balance the State’s budget.
Other than breaking the backs of the public unions in this state, which I’ll admit need to be overhauled in someway, Christie is going after the public education system in order to push his plans for Charter School vouchers and school choice.
Both he and his Education Secretary Bret Schundler, are advocates for Charter Schools even though it has been shown that charter schools often have worse track records at teaching our kids than public schools have.
Charter schools are for profit operations that do not always make the right decisions for children based on education standards, they make decisions that effect their bottom line and in so doing the quality of education suffers. Statistics show that for each charter school that has some success 2 or more fail and go out of business.
Is that what New Jerseyians really want for their kids education, a weakened public education system that will drive children to a possibly inferior Charter School? I don’t think so, residents for the most part believe in the public school system and feel that it is an important institution that needs to be maintained.
It may not be perfect but neither are most Charter Schools that are more interested in their bottom line than the overall quality of their education.
This latest announcement of cuts in State aid to education will have devastating effects on Middletown and other municipalities through out Monmouth County and the State.


Filed under charter schools, Education Funding, Gov. Chris Christie, Middletown Board of Education, Monmouth County, school budgets, School cuts

Corzine wants to streamline creation of new charter schools

Keeping in the spirit of “back to school”, the following article published yesterday at the New Jersey Newsroom.

The number of charter schools in the state and the students that participate in the has seen significant growth 2006 and the Governor announced that As a result, he is recommending to the state Board of Education that a new process be adopted to expedite charter approvals. He said an expedited process would cut the approval process time from 18 months to about 11 months, allowing more charter schools to open within a shorter time frame:

Gov. Jon Corzine Wednesday announced significant growth in both the number of New Jersey charter schools and the number of students.

Since 2006, the number of charter schools has increased by 34 percent while student enrollment rose almost 55 percent, the governor said in Paterson.

As a result, Corzine said he is recommending to the state Board of Education that a new process be adopted to expedite charter approvals. He said an expedited process would cut the approval process time from 18 months to about 11 months, allowing more charter schools to open within a shorter time frame.

“Community Charter School in Paterson mirrors the growth that is occurring at charter school throughout the state,” Corzine said during a visit to the school. “I am proud of the work that is occurring at charter schools in New Jersey, as well as the work ongoing in many of our traditional public schools. Both our traditional public schools and our charter schools are preparing our students with the skills they will need to compete in the ever-evolving global economy and to secure a brighter economic future.”

Corzine’s action comes as a rival for the governor’s post, Republican Chris Christie campaigns that he would allow for the opening of more charter schools and provide parents a choice on where to have their children educated.

Currently, there are 68 charter schools operating in the state. Six of these will open for the first time this month. Approximately 14,496 students attended charter schools in 2006. That number is projected to increase to more than 22,000 by October.

The Community Charter School opened last September. It was founded by the New Jersey Community Development Corporation and provides education for 350 kindergarten through third grade students. This year, the school has expanded to fourth grade and will serve 450 students.

“New Jersey is fortunate to have a number of charter schools that have been providing high-quality educational programs to children for nearly a decade,” state Education Commissioner Lucille E. Davy said. “New Jersey should welcome people with a track record of success who want to open additional charter schools by providing an early decision process. The proposed application procedures will recognize the effective work of proven charter school operators but still give additional time to applicants who are new to the process.”

Charter schools are public schools operated by a charter granted by the Department of Education. A charter school is open to all students on a space-available basis with preference being given to students who live nearby. All classroom teachers and professional support staff must hold appropriate state certification.

Read more >>> Here

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Filed under charter schools, Gov. Jon Corzine, new Jersey department of education, New Jersey Newsroom