As this article shows, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has decided that the state needs charter schools so badly that he can’t wait for the Legislature to act. He plans to do by regulation what the Legislature has thus far failed to do: To allow more charter schools and possibly an online charter school as well.
What’s the hurry?
The evidence is clear that charters don’t get different results from public schools when they enroll the same children. And the evidence is equally clear that online charters get worse results than public schools. There is no miracle in calling a school a charter, although it is true that nearly 90% of charters are non-union. Maybe that’s the point of having more charters: to get rid of union jobs.
There may be another reason for the governor’s impatience. As an article in the Star-Ledger showed last April, many of Christie’s bills are closely aligned with the ALEC model legislation. ALEC calls for charters that receive the same funding as public schools, and for for-profit online schools.
The Legislature is dragging its feet.
But Governor Christie can’t let Bobby Jindal and other rightwing governors outdo him in putting the ALEC plans into action.