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    Richard Vespucci
    Jon Zlock


For Release: July 17, 2003

Department of Education Receives Nine Charter School Applications

The New Jersey Department of Education today announced that it has received nine new applications for charter schools. The applications are for prospective charter schools that would open in September 2004 or September 2005. Since the first round of applications was accepted in 1996, the Department of Education has received 213 applications.

The applications received this month will undergo an extensive review by Department of Education staff and by Commissioner of Education William Librera, who is expected to announce the successful applicants in this round on or about January 15, 2004.

"Charter schools are central to our overall commitment to provide students with multiple paths to success," said Dr. Librera. "We will begin a thorough review of the academic and fiscal plans contained in the applications. We want to take all steps possible to ensure that any applications we approve are for schools that are likely to succeed on the strengths of their plans."

This September, 50 charter schools, including consolidated charter schools, are expected to open their doors to more than 13,000 students. Another three previously approved schools have opted for a planning year and will open in September 2004. New Jersey’s charter schools have an average waiting list of 110 students.

A charter school is a type of public school that is given greater flexibility in curriculum and instruction. New Jersey’s charter school law establishes charter schools as places where education innovation, with fewer regulations, can be carried out for possible use of successful programs and practices in schools throughout the state.

The Commissioner of Education has the authority to grant a charter for a four-year period and to renew initial charters for a five-year period.

Attached is a list of the applicants announced today.