Categories: NewsNJ DOE

State Charter Association Chief: Murphy Is Disrespecting Black and Latino Parents

This is a statement from Harry Lee, President & CEO, New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association, on Acting Commissioner of Education’s decision to close Newark’s University Heights Charter School with two weeks left in school. For more NJ Ed Report coverage, see here.

“On June 1, the families of nearly 700 students learned that their school, University Heights Charter School (UCHS), a pre-K-8 public charter school in Newark, will close in two weeks. As a result of this unjustifiably late notification by the Acting Commissioner of Education, families are left in a lurch and are frantically scrambling to find an alternative school for their children for the summer and fall. Since 2006, UCHS has served the Newark community with support from Bethany Baptist Church, one of the city’s largest and oldest Black churches. UCHS was set to deliver a robust summer enrichment program starting on July 6. Due to this closure decision, parents are left to fend for themselves with very little time. The lack of care, compassion, and planning for such a high-stakes decision that impacts so many low-income families is unconscionable.

Public charter schools are the most accountable public schools in New Jersey and must meet rigorous academic and financial benchmarks in order to operate in New Jersey and we support this high level of accountability. However, the Murphy Administration’s decision making on public charter schools has both hurt and disrespected Black and Latino parents in Newark and throughout New Jersey. Four months ago, the Acting Commissioner of Education denied modest expansion requests of some of the highest performing charter schools not only in New Jersey but in the country. If those seats were granted, and this closure decision announced earlier, these families could have enrolled in high performing public charter schools in Newark for next school year. Instead, this last-minute closure will create chaos for UCHS families as they scramble to find a school for next year.

The charter community stands ready to work with the affected families to try to find placements in charter schools for these students. We implore the Murphy Administration to work with the charter sector in Newark – some of the best charter schools ever created – to serve more students so that Newark parents can exercise their right for self-determination for their children.”

Staff Writer

Recent Posts

BREAKING: New Jersey Is Now the Only State in the Nation That Hasn’t Released Statewide Test Scores (Plus Newark Numbers)

Yet another New Jersey news outlet --the Star-Ledger--is picking up on the the State Department…

2 days ago

NJ Teacher: Scapegoating Teacher Unions Could Lead to Unimaginable Violence

Susan Poage is a New Jersey teacher who resides in Berkeley Heights. Mike Pompeo, the…

2 days ago

Murphy Signs Critical School Security Legislation to Help First Responders Protect Students and Teachers

Governor Phil Murphy today signed bill S2426 into law, requiring all public and nonpublic schools…

2 days ago

LILLEY: NJEA Leadership Funds Gov. Murphy’s Presidential Ambitions with New Jersey Teachers’ Highest-in-the-Nation Dues

The New Jersey Globe reported that the pro-Murphy, dark money Super PAC “Stronger Fairer Forward,” which is run…

3 days ago

OROHO/STANFIELD: State Board of Education Must Stop Hiding Behind Pandemic to Deny Parents Access to Important Meetings

Senate Republicans Call for State Board to Resume Meeting In Person and Allow Public Attendance,…

3 days ago