Charter School Extension Supported in New Jersey

Representing E3 ("Excellent Education for Everyone") Atlantic Legal has filed an amicus brief in support of the Red Bank (NJ) Charter School’s application for a renewed charter. The State Board of Education’s approval of the renewed charter has been challenged by the school district (and others) as contributing to racial segregation in the district school; the district also contends that the board denied it due process.

Atlantic Legal’s brief supported the positions taken by the New Jersey Attorney General and raised additional factual and legal arguments.

The case is important because charter school enrollment is determined by parental choice and, because of the great demand for enrollment, admission lotteries. In this case, enrollments reflected the community’s school age population; and, many of the charter students have been drawn from private and home schooling to which they would likely return if the Red Bank charter were not renewed. The Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, adopted virtually all of Atlantic Legal’s arguments on behalf of Excellent Education for Everyone, and has approved the renewal and extension of the Red Bank Charter School. Significantly, the appellate court flatly rejected arguments made by the district board and the New Jersey Education Association. The court’s very comprehensive opinion eliminates many potential road-blocks for New Jersey charters when they seek renewal or expansion. Also in New Jersey, Atlantic Legal filed an appeal from the Commissioner of Education’s revocation of the charter of the Paterson Charter School for Urban leadership. Subsequently, the state required the withdrawal of the appeal before it would consider the reinstatement of the charter. Negotiations continue as the former charter operates as an "academy" under the auspices of the local school district, now operated by the state.