New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association Announces Launch of the #LetMyChildLearn Campaign
Campaign Features Parent Voices Encouraging the NJ Department of Education and Lawmakers to Support Application Requests So Students Can Remain In the Schools They Love and More Students Can Get Access to a Great Public School Education
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – November 16, 2022 – Today, at the 107th Annual New Jersey State League of Municipalities Conference, one of the largest gatherings of statewide and local government officials in the Garden State, the New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association (NJPCSA) announced the launch of a comprehensive, statewide digital ad campaign targeting decision makers in advance of the New Jersey Department of Education’s (NJDOE) ruling on application requests from public charter schools to allow students to continue learning at the schools that are working for them and to allow more students access to a world class education.
The #LetMyChildLearn campaign will feature New Jersey parents who have been able to secure a quality public education for their children at public charter schools and who want all families in the Garden State to have similar access to a high quality public education, which requires the approval of a number of requests to add grades and seats by charter schools in communities like Newark, Paterson, Trenton, and beyond this coming year.
“NJPCSA is committed to ensuring that parents and students continue to thrive in public charter schools that work for them and best meet their individual needs,” said Harry Lee, President of NJPCSA. “Through the unprecedented investment in K-12 public education under the Murphy Administration, school districts in which public charter schools are located have seen significant increases in per pupil funding, eliminating the argument that public charter schools ‘drain funds’ from local districts. The increase in K-12 funding demonstrates that district schools and public charter schools can not only successfully co-exist but they can thrive alongside one another.”
With approximately 20,000 students on charter school wait lists, the future remains uncertain for families demanding school alternatives that fit their childrens’ needs. The campaign seeks to inform and convince lawmakers, Governor Murphy’s Administration, and the New Jersey Department of Education to listen to the voices of thousands of families and students. The campaign includes families who are eager to remain at their current public charter school with approval for their expansion for additional grades thus securing education continuity and approval of expansion for additional seats at high performing public charter schools.
“Our goal is to help build stronger communities through the smart growth of high-performing public charter schools,” said TJ Best, Senior Advisor of NJPCSA. “With 20,000 students on wait lists, we continue to urge the New Jersey Department of Education to consider how their decisions impact families across the Garden State including how they will disproportionately impact students of color and from low-income communities.”
Expected decisions by the NJDOE in early 2023 could impact existing students attending charter schools like Achievers Early College Prep in Trenton who want to complete their education journey in the school that is meeting their needs. Other decisions could impact thousands of students who remain on wait lists across the state.
“Achievers has been my home for the last three years. My teachers have pushed me to be the best person I can be and to succeed academically,” said Aleslys Mong, a student at Achievers Early College Prep Charter School in Trenton. “My education at Achievers allowed me to fall in love with coding and computer science. I don’t know how I can continue learning about my passion without the curriculum of my school. My future is in the hands of the New Jersey Department of Education and I hope they won’t let me down.”
There is strong support across the State for public charter schools, not just from families whose children are enrolled, but from voters and parents broadly as demonstrated in recent polling conducted by NJPCSA and the New Jersey Children’s Foundation. Earlier this year, the Association released results from a statewide poll that found that a majority of voters and parents support public charter schools by a 2:1 margin with even higher levels of support from Black and Latino voters. The poll also found high levels of support from both voters and parents in several cities across the State where charter schools are seeking to expand, including Trenton and Paterson. Similarly a previous poll conducted by the New Jersey Children’s Foundation found high levels of support of voters and parents in Newark.
“Every day, I work to elevate the parent voice and parents in communities like Newark are screaming for access to a great school like North Star Academy because the teachers and staff produce amazing academic outcomes and believe in the ability of every child,” said Jasmine Morrison, whose children attend North Star Academy Charter School in Newark. “I’m unapologetic when I say I expect my kids’ public school to be a high expectations vessel that prepares them to thrive in the future workforce.”
About New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association
The New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association (NJPCSA) is the non-profit membership association that represents the state’s charter school community and, by extension, charter school students and their parents. There are currently 85 charter schools in New Jersey serving 60,000 students. We are committed to advancing quality public education for New Jersey’s children through the cultivation of excellent public charter schools. The Association seeks to influence legislative and policy environments, leverage collective advocacy, and provide resources to support our members in developing and operating high quality, public charter schools.