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Letter to the Editor: Support Bill That Would Approve Charters Through Voting

Bill that would require voter approval to establish new charter schools has stalled in Senate Education Committee.

New Jersey property taxpayers should have the right to vote on whether establishing a charter school is appropriate for their communities.

In September 2010, Sen. Barbara Buono (D-Dist. 18) and Sen. Shirley Turner (D-Dist. 15) introduced S-2243, a bill that would require voter approval at the annual school election or by the board of school estimate prior to the establishment of a charter school. In June 2011, the New Jersey Assembly overwhelmingly passed an identical bill, A3852. Unfortunately, S-2243 has stalled in the Senate Education Committee.

If S-2243 is not passed and signed into law by the start of the new legislative session next month, the bill may die and A3852 will be nullified.  I urge all New Jerseyans to call Senate Education Committee Chair Teresa Ruiz (D-Dist. 29) at (973) 484-1000 to ask her to post the bill, and Senate Majority Leader Stephen Sweeney (D-Dist 3) at (856) 251-9801 to request that he put S-2243 to a vote.

- Joshua Fine, Highland Park

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