New Jersey Public Charter School Parents Kickoff Yearlong Civic Engagement Campaign

Nearly 200 New Jersey Charter Schools Parents and Leaders Gather; Demonstrate Their Community Public Charter Schools Change Lives of Students

TRENTON, NJ—Nearly 200 New Jersey public charter school parents, leaders, and supporters from across the state will gather in Trenton at the New Jersey State House on Monday, February 27, 2017. The goal of the predominantly-parent attendees is to deliver one clear message: public charter schools are changing lives, adding value to their children’s education, and creating opportunities for students across the state.

Parents attending will represent more than 45,000 students in New Jersey’s 88 public charter schools across the state and have a strategy to continue engaging their elected officials. “I’m here today because this issue is about equality and opportunity for all kids, not just my own children,” said Haneef Auguste. “I made a conscious decision to send my four children to KIPP New Jersey Schools because I wanted something better for my children and couldn’t afford to move or pay for private school. No one should stand in the way of any child’s chance at a better life, especially when the circumstances in some of our communities are so dire.”

Parents plan to share their personal stories, including the ways in which public charter schools support students with special needs. “We initially chose HoLa for our son because it provided a unique curriculum: full immersion in the Spanish language and culture,” said Lynn Danzker whose 6th grade son attends HoLa (Hoboken Dual Language Charter School). She added, “We’ve stayed at HoLa because of the nurturing environment. In 2nd grade, our son’s teacher noticed that he was struggling academically. HoLa worked diligently to identify his needs, developed an I.E.P. and provided him with the services necessary to be successful. Today our 6th grader is an Honor Roll student. If there’s any doubt, please know that public charter schools do have the resources and the desire to assist children with special needs, and they too can achieve great success alongside their peers.”

Public charter school parents committed to taking the following actions in the coming months to publicly demonstrate their support:

  1. Getting Out the Vote: Along with registering voters, we commit to mobilizing to increase voter turnout for upcoming school board and legislature elections across the state and the 2017 gubernatorial election.
  2. Making Our Voices Heard: Our legislators will be hearing from us, not just today, but throughout the year through postcard campaigns, op-eds, meetings with each member of our legislative districts, and participation in town halls and election debates.
  3. Change Agent Summit: Through a series of educational trainings we will grow our network and empower ourselves and other New Jersey parents to take charge of their child’s and communities’ futures.   

Public charter schools are serving their communities and doing so with extraordinary success. Schools from across the state have demonstrated excellence and success in a number of areas:

  • PACE Charter School of Hamilton and Central Jersey College Prep are nationally recognized Blue Ribbon Award-Winning schools;  
  • Soaring Heights Charter School (Jersey City) surpassed the state PARCC average in in both ELA (+30 pp) and Math (13 pp);
  • LEAP University Academy (Camden) students have a 98.17% graduation rate, while their Newark counterparts KIPP New Jersey and North Star send 90% or more of their high school graduates to college making both schools the top in the state at sending black students to 4 year colleges; and,
  • North Star Academy’s collaboration with Newark Public Schools to turn around a district school resulted in year one PARCC results where students outperformed their non-socioeconomically disadvantaged peers.

Fantastic opportunities are being created for children attending public charter schools. It must be our state’s unified goal to ensure that academic opportunities exist for every child across the state, regardless of their ZIP code, skin color, socioeconomic standing, or the school they attend.

Nearly 200 parent advocates representing over 20 public charter schools (see below for a complete list of public charter schools) will be in attendance. The parents are supported by a diverse coalition of statewide advocacy organizations, including the New Jersey Charter Schools Association, Better Education Institute (BEI), JerseyCAN, Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), Newark Charter School Fund (NSCF), and Parent Coalition for Excellent Education (PC2E).

BelovED Community Charter School

Camden Community Charter School

Central Jersey College Prep Charter School

Community Charter School of Paterson

Foundation Academies

Great Oaks Community Charter School

Hoboken Dual Language Charter School

Hope Community Charter School

iLearn Charter Schools

Bergen Arts & Science Charter School

Hudson Arts & Science Charter School

Passaic Arts & Science Charter School

Paterson Arts & Science Charter School

Learning Community Charter School

KIPP New Jersey

LEAP Academy University Charter School

New Horizons Community Charter School

PACE Charter School of Hamilton

Paul Robeson Charter School

Phillips Academy Charter School

Queen City Charter School

The Barack Obama Green Charter High School

The Ethical Community Charter School

The Kingdom Charter School

UnCommon Schools, North Star

Unity Charter School

About New Jersey Charter Schools Association

The New Jersey Charter Schools Association (NJCSA) is a statewide association representing the state’s charter sector. New Jersey is home to 88 charter schools, serving nearly 50,000 children. NJCSA was formed in 1999 and today is charged with advancing a quality public education for New Jersey’s children through quality public charter schools. Our vision is that every child in the State of New Jersey has the opportunity to attend a high quality public school that best meets his or her needs. For more information, visit www.njcharters.org.

 

About Better Education Institute

New Jersey’s disadvantaged children and low-income communities need a portfolio of high quality educational programs to level the playing field. The Better Education Institute (BEI) was created to address precisely this challenge. BEI will apply the best practices of the education sector to identify, import, test, and replicate the nation’s most effective educational practices and interventions.

 

About JerseyCAN

JerseyCAN: The New Jersey Campaign for Achievement Now is a nonprofit organization that advocates for a high-quality education for all New Jersey kids, regardless of their address. For more information, visit www.jerseycan.org.

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New Jersey Public Charter School Parents Kickoff Yearlong Civic Engagement Campaign