TRENTON – Senator Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex/Union), Chair of the Senate Education Committee, issued the following statement on today’s committee hearing on legislation (S-2198) the Senator sponsored to modernize the state’s laws covering charter schools:
“The legislation we discussed today is a starting point to ensure that all New Jersey students are offered equal opportunities for academic success and that we are equipped to accommodate the evolving role of charter schools that is taking shape in our state, as it is across the country.
“We recognize that there will be changes to the bill. Certainly, the state is filled with universities that are well-positioned to participate in the approval process for charter schools and to provide the necessary oversight to ensure they are held to New Jersey’s high educational standards.
“I also believe further discussion is warranted to more clearly define the components of the legislation, particularly in the areas of special needs, gender-based and virtual charter schools.
“With that said, I want to thank Commissioner Schundler and members of the state’s education community who participated in today’s very positive discussion about the future role of charter schools in our state. We heard a number of exciting ideas from interested groups on both the state and national levels, and I look forward to a continued dialogue to ensure that we create the best possible bill for New Jersey’s students.”