John Mooney in NJ Spotlight describes the Senate Education Committee hearing yesterday on two controversial charter school bills where the “vocal opposition” came not from poor urban areas but “almost entirely from suburban districts,” mainly through the lobbying efforts of Save Our Schools-NJ:
While more than half of all of New Jersey’s charter schools operate in its poorest cities, there was nobody from places like Paterson, Trenton, and Camden. They weren’t entirely without representation, to be sure, as various advocates stepped up to speak, but New Jersey’s fierce debate over charter schools has had a distinctly suburban feel of late.
Sen. Shirley Turner noted that “she rarely hears complaints from her constituents in Trenton about the growth of charters there, even as some of the charters have been forced to close. ‘I don’t think they have a problem with it so much’ she said. ‘They can’t argue about the quality of their schools. Look at the test scores, and they say well, if there is an alternative and another way to help our students, let’s buy it.'”