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

For Release: October 3, 2008

Commissioner Davy Approves Applications for Six New Charter Schools

Commissioner of Education Lucille E. Davy today announced her approval of six new prospective charter school applications. The successful applicants can begin planning and start-up activities that could lead to new school openings in September 2009.

"I congratulate the founders of these proposed schools for completing an important first step," Commissioner Davy said. "Starting a charter school is a complex process that involves attention to many details. We review each application in great detail before making determinations on which applications are ready to move forward.

"This rigorous process is our way of ensuring that children and their families can elect to attend schools that show the greatest promise for quality and continuity," Davy said.

The six successful applications are for the following schools:

  • Dr. Ellen G. Pressman Charter School, Plainfield, Union County
  • The Ethical Community Charter School, Jersey City, Hudson County
  • Institute for Excellence Charter School, Winslow Township, Camden County
  • Newark Educators Community Charter School, Newark, Essex County
  • Riverbank Charter School of Excellence, Florence, Burlington County
  • Vineland Public Charter School, Vineland, Cumberland County

The applications were among 25 applications received in March in the latest selection round. The majority of the proposed charter schools named today would be located in urban areas. The proposed school in Plainfield would serve middle-school aged students. The remaining successful applications announced to today are for schools that would enroll students in the elementary grades.

Please see the attached list for more information about the six proposed schools. 2008 Approved Charter Schools

The applications announced today are the first to be approved under a new timetable for the charter school selection process. The timetable was changed to allow additional time for applicants to plan and conduct start-up activities.

A charter school is a public school open to all students on a space-available basis that is funded by taxpayers but operates independently of the district board of education under a charter granted by the Commissioner. Once the charter is approved by the Commissioner, the school is managed by a board of trustees deemed to be public agents authorized by the State Board of Education to supervise and control the school.

The 62 charter schools currently operating are receiving $247.9 million in state aid. Forty-six charter schools (74.2 percent) are receiving revenue increases. Total enrollment for New Jersey’s charter schools is approximately 16,000.

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

For more information about charter schools in New Jersey, visit the Department of Education’s Web-site at: