New Jersey Revised Statutes § 18a:36a-16 - Annual Assessment, Review Of Charter Schools, Independent Study, Report, Recommendations.

18A:36A-16 Annual assessment, review of charter schools, independent study, report, recommendations.

16. a. The commissioner shall annually assess whether each charter school is meeting the goals of its charter, and shall conduct a comprehensive review prior to granting a renewal of the charter. The county superintendent of schools of the county in which the charter school is located shall have on-going access to the records and facilities of the charter school to ensure that the charter school is in compliance with its charter and that State board regulations concerning assessment, testing, civil rights, and student health and safety are being met.

b.In order to facilitate the commissioner's review, each charter school shall submit an annual report to the local board of education, the county superintendent of schools, and the commissioner in the form prescribed by the commissioner. The report shall be received annually by the local board, the county superintendent, and the commissioner no later than August 1.

The report shall also be made available to the parent or guardian of a student enrolled in the charter school.

c.By April 1, 2001, the commissioner shall hold public hearings in the north, central, and southern regions of the State to receive input from members of the educational community and the public on the charter school program.

d.The commissioner shall commission an independent study of the charter school program. The study shall be conducted by an individual or entity identified with expertise in the field of education and the selection shall be approved by the Joint Committee on the Public Schools. The individual or entity shall design a comprehensive study of the charter school program.

e.The commissioner shall submit to the Governor, the Legislature, and the State Board of Education by October 1, 2001 an evaluation of the charter school program based upon the public input required pursuant to subsection c. of this section and the independent study required pursuant to subsection d. of this section. The evaluation shall include, but not be limited to, consideration of the following elements:

(1)the impact of the charter school program on resident districts' students, staff, parents, educational programs, and finances;

(2)the impact of the charter school program and the increased number of schools on the economics of educational services on a Statewide basis;

(3)the fairness and the impact of the reduction of available resources on the ability of resident districts to promote competitive educational offerings;

(4)the impact of the shift of pupils from nonpublic schools to charter schools;

(5)the comparative demographics of student enrollments in school districts of residence and the charter schools located within those districts. The comparison shall include, but not be limited to, race, gender, socioeconomic status, enrollment of special education students, enrollment of students of limited English proficiency, and student progress toward meeting the core curriculum content standards as measured by student results on Statewide assessment tests;

(6)the degree of involvement of private entities in the operation and financial support of charter schools, and their participation as members of charter school boards of trustees;

(7)verification of the compliance of charter schools with applicable laws and regulations;

(8)student progress toward meeting the goals of the charter schools;

(9)parent, community and student satisfaction with charter schools;

(10) the extent to which waiting lists exist for admission to charter schools and the length of those lists;

(11) the extent of any attrition among student and faculty members in charter schools; and

(12) the results of the independent study required pursuant to subsection d. of this section.

The evaluation shall include a recommendation on the advisability of the continuation, modification, expansion, or termination of the program. If the evaluation does not recommend termination, then it shall include recommendations for changes in the structure of the program which the commissioner deems advisable. The commissioner may not implement any recommended expansion, modification, or termination of the program until the Legislature acts on that recommendation.

L.1995,c.426,s.16; amended 2000,c.142,s.3.

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Last modified: October 11, 2016