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Contact: Bob DeSando
For Release: May 3, 2000

State Board of Education Celebrates National Charter Schools Week

The State Board of Education today adopted a resolution recognizing the contributions being made by New Jersey’s 46 charter schools to the more than 9,000 students they serve as part of National Charter Schools Week.

"Charter schools are making a positive difference in the lives of thousands of New Jersey children," said Commissioner of Education David C. Hespe. "They are keeping students interested in learning and preparing them for the challenges they will face later in life through the use of innovative approaches. Some of the most exciting things happening in the field of education are happening in charter schools."

Hespe noted that there is a very high level of parental satisfaction with charter schools, as evidenced by the nearly 3,000 children on waiting lists. In September, there will be 60 charter schools in operation in New Jersey.

"Charter schools are incubators of ideas that will make our public school system stronger," the commissioner said. "They give students and parents a choice. It is this personal commitment that makes the learning experience more exciting for the student and motivates parents to take a more active role in their child’s education."

The first charter school legislation was adopted in Minnesota in 1991. New Jersey’s charter school law was signed in 1996. The state’s first 13 charter schools opened in 1997. Thirty-six states plus the District of Columbia have charter schools.

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