Newark Councilman Anibal Ramos Jr., a former member of the Newark Public Schools Advisory Board and a strong supporter of quality public schools, today announced he is opposed to a bill in the state Assembly that would limit the growth of existing charter school in the state.
Ramos, who represents the city’s North Ward, said he plans to introduce a resolution opposing the passage of A4351 introduced by Assembly Education Committee chairman Patrick Diegnan (D-Middlesex) and Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-Essex).
The bill calls for a three-year moratorium on the expansion of existing charter schools. Charter schools are free public schools that are open to all students of a district and do not require entrance exams.
“Newark has some of the best charter schools in the state,” Ramos said. “With thousands of children in Newark alone on waiting lists to attend these charter schools, passing this bill would actually be a tremendous setback to the children of our city. We must make sure this misguided piece of legislation does not become law. Moreover the emphasis should be placed on better monitoring existing charter schools and taking corrective action on those schools that are not performing well.”
Newark has 20 charter schools enrolling more than 11,000 students. Charter schools are widely supported throughout Newark. A recent survey of 500 Newark residents conducted for the Newark Charter School Fund found that 71 percent support the expansion of the city’s public charter sector.
“It’s clear that charter schools have a place in our city,” Ramos said. “Charter schools are offering valuable educational opportunities for our children. Rather than trying to limit their growth, we should be working to ensure every family that wants to send their child to a charter school has that option.”