NJ Department of Ed to host community meetings in Camden on Urban Hope Act

With the deadline quickly approaching (July 27) for proposals for Renaissance Schools in Camden, the  state Department of Education will host four community meetings next week to explain the Urban Hope Act to parents and community members.

Under the Urban Hope Act - sponsored by Sen. Donald Norcross (D., Camden) - nonprofit entities can construct a renaissance institution, or lease a privately owned building, and operate a school with 95 percent of the costs coming from Camden public schools. Renaissance schools may hire private companies without public bidding for a range of services, including staffing, management, and bookkeeping.

A the center of the local debate on Renaissance Schools is the Lanning Square School site, which Cooper Hospital Foundation (read previous story HERE) has set its eyes on for a school project. A group of community activists held a community meeting last week to discuss the Lanning Square School project and the possibility of turning it into a Renaissance School. However, no one from the state or city attended the meeting.

The DOE's community meetings are scheduled for:

Monday, July 23, 2012
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Octavious Catto Family School
3100 Westfield Avenue

Tuesday, July 24, 2012
4:00pm - 6:00pm
Dudley Family School
2255 Berwick St.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Pyne Poynt Middle School
800 Erie Street

Thursday, July 26, 2012
6:00pm - 8:00pm
H.B. Wilson Family School
2250 South 8th Street