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For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Richard Vespucci
    Kathryn Forsyth, Director

For Release: April 11, 2005

Applications Available
DOE Begins New Round of Charter School Development

The New Jersey Department of Education has released the 2005 charter school application for anyone interested in opening a charter school for the 2006-07 or 2007-08 school year. Completed applications are due to the department no later than July 15, 2005.

New charter school applications are being mailed to people who have expressed interest in opening a charter school. Applications have also been sent to the county offices of education, as well as to associations and foundations that have requested them.

The department will further assist prospective applicants by offering two technical assistance workshops on May 10 at the department's headquarters in Trenton and on May 13 at the Southern Regional Office in Sewell. Registration forms are accessible from the DOE Web-site through the following link:

Each application will undergo a multi-level rigorous process, including evaluations by a panel of independent readers. Local school districts located in the district or region of the prospective charter school are also encouraged to submit comments to the Commissioner.

All new applicants have the opportunity to apply for competitive grants for start-up funds. Once again, the grant application process has been incorporated into the application process. This year, the department expects to receive at least six charter school applications from applicants who received charter development grants to assist in the writing of their 2005 charter school applications.

Charter schools are public schools operated under a charter granted by the Commissioner of Education. A charter school is independent of the district board of education and is managed by a board of trustees. Charter schools have the flexibility to experiment with innovative strategies and techniques in order to improve student achievement.

New Jersey currently has 49 operating charter schools that enroll approximately 14,000 students. An additional four charter schools are scheduled to open in September 2005 and two schools are scheduled to open in September 2006.

Charter school applications can be obtained from the Office of Vocational-Technical, Career and Innovative Programs and Schools, 609-292-5850 or from the department's Web-site: