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What is a Charter School?

New Jersey Charter Schools are free public schools that are open to all children and typically offer their students more individualized attention, longer school days, longer school years, and innovative programs with substantially less funding than other public schools.

Charter schools operate independently from (local) district schools. They may be organized by a group of founders who enter into an agreement, a performance contract called a “charter", with the state board of education.

These uniquely accountable public schools are created and sustained by the communities they serve. With the advent of charter schools, parents now have a choice in public education.

Some Facts

The 1995 NJ Charter School Act was enacted to pave the way for the creation of charter schools in New Jersey. Some facts about charters are that they:

  • Are free, public schools that operate independently from the local district schools
  • Offer students more individualized attention, longer school days, and longer school years
  • Create a "performance contract," or "charter," that is entered into with the NJ Department of Education
  • Receive less funding than the district schools
  • Allow for choice in public education