One of the greatest attributes of public schools in NJ is that they are free and open to every child born in the state. There are a few public schools that are an exception to this rule. What makes public schools great, is unfortunately one of the factors that may also make it a poor choice. Charter schools on the other hand can turn students away. This allows them to keep class sizes small and budgets lower. If there are more applications than the school’s charter will allow the school conducts a lottery to see who gets accepted.
Both charter schools in New Jersey and Public schools in New Jersey are funded by the taxpayers of their districts. Charter schools only receive 90% of their yearly budget’s from the district all other funding comes from private organizations, donors and grass roots efforts like bake sales and auctions. Some of these schools also receive grants from private foundations and corporations. Many charter schools also charge a fee to the families of the students they serve.
Public schools in New Jersey are accountable to the public. They are subject to tons of rules and regulations, what they teach, how it is taught and who can teach, are all regulated by the federal government. Although the state and federal government hold some sway with charter schools it is not to the same extent as it is with the public schools in New Jersey.
Public schools are ran by publicly elected boards and charter schools can appoint their boards without any public input. In a charter school the headmaster or equivalent to the public school principal does not have to have a background in education nor a teaching degree or certification.
One thing that may pose a problem is the inception of new rules governing how charter schools are funded. In Newark NJ it is said that Mark Zuckerberg gave $100million to the local charter schools and the Governor of New Jersey wants to allow private corporations to fund charter schools and appoint profit-oriented boards of trustees. This doesn’t seem to be a good idea since then they might as well be categorized as private schools once this occurs.
Public schools in New Jersey are not in any danger of being made obsolete by their Charter counterparts and we do not have to worry about our children attending schools without any accountability to the public that they serve.