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Contact: Richard Vespucci
For Release: August 31, 1999

New Jersey Receives New Federal Grant for Charter School Start-Ups

Commissioner of Education David Hespe today announced that New Jersey has received a new federal grant under the Public Charter Schools Program. The $2,763,120 grant will be used to assist in the design and initial implementation of charter schools and evaluate the effects of charter schools on academic achievement and student success.

The grant year begins on September 1, 1999, and runs through August 31, 2000. This marks the fourth consecutive year that the New Jersey Department of Education has received funding under the competitive grant program. Since 1997, New Jersey has been awarded $5,710,488 in federal funds to assist new charter schools. The most recent award represents the greatest single year award to New Jersey to date and is nearly equal to the previous three awards combined.

Prospective charter schools and any charter schools that have not received grant funding under this program may apply for the funds.

New Jersey has established the following objectives for using grant funds in this program:

  • To support charter schools in developing and designing educational programs and management / governance structures that will result in high academic achievement and managerial efficiency.
  • To help schools implement and refine fully developed curricula that meet the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards and can be used in other schools.
  • To help charter schools participate in the statewide assessment program to meet the needs of all students in the community.
  • To help charter schools develop and implement an effective marketing and outreach program that will increase public awareness of the charter school.
  • To review and assess recruitment strategies for staff and admission policies for students regarding non-discriminatory hiring and enrollment policies.

Forty-eight charter schools enrolling close to 10,000 students are scheduled to open in September 1999. Charter schools in New Jersey are public schools operating independently of a local board of education under a charter granted by the Commissioner of Education. They were created by law in 1995; the first charters were awarded in January 1997.