Charter Schools

About Charter Schools

NJ Charter School Fact Sheet.

Charter schools are:

  • Free. They cannot charge tuition.
  • Open-enrollment. They are open to all students on a space-available basis with preference being given to students from the charter school's district or region of residence.
  • Public schools.

A charter school operates under a charter granted by the Commissioner of Education and is independent of the local school district's board of education. It is managed by a board of trustees.

The state's charter school law was passed to give parents choices for their children's education. The law is intended to:

  • Improve student learning and achievement;
  • Increase the availability of choice to parents and students when selecting a learning environment;
  • Encourage the use of different and innovative learning methods;
  • Establish a new system of accountability for schools;
  • Make the school the unit for educational improvement;
  • Establish new professional opportunities for teachers.

Founders of a charter school can be teaching staff members, parents with children attending schools of the district or a combination of both, as well as institutions of higher education or a private entity located within the state in conjunction with teaching staff members and parents.

Current Statistics

  • As of September 2013, there are 87 approved charter schools currently operating in New Jersey.

  • As of September 2013, there are over 33,500 students enrolled in public charter schools across the state.