In a unanimous ruling issued this afternoon, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in favor of the State Department of Education’s 2016 decision to allow the increased enrollment and facilities expansion for seven Newark charter schools. The decision had been challenged by Education Law Center and Newark’s Board of Education.
Education Law Center argued that the expansion of the seven public charters will further segregate Newark schools, where 90% of students are either Black or Hispanic. Charters enroll more Black students than Hispanic students, charged ELC, and, are culpable for the lack of integration in the fifth most segregated state school system in America. The School Board argued that paying tuition to charters is a fiscal burden (although the money comes from the state and follows the child to their charter school).
The justices ruled, in this 7-0 decision, that Education Law Center and the Newark Board of Education hadn’t demonstrated that expanding the charter schools would result in fiscal harm to traditional public schools. While they agreed that the original approval didn’t take into account the impact on individual school demographics, they also said shutting down the expansions would be “impractical” and “could disrupt the education of thousands of students in Newark’s charter schools.”