Saturday, July 4, 2015

ICYMI: A Camden education revolution?

Unlike other kinds of schools, renaissance schools are to be run by nonprofits empowered to use the per-pupil money to buy property and hire for-profit companies to construct buildings.

ICYMI: A Camden education revolution?

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Gov. Christie greets students at the Lanning Square School in Camden after signing the "renaissance" school bill. Newark and Trenton are also included. (TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer)
Gov. Christie greets students at the Lanning Square School in Camden after signing the "renaissance" school bill. Newark and Trenton are also included. (TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer) TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer

In case you missed it, Gov. Christie was in Camden yesterday to sign the Democrat-sponsored Urban Hope Act, which creates a new kind of hybrid school in Camden, Trenton and Newark. Lots of serious political tyes were in the house yesterday -- including Camden Mayor Dana Redd, who later told my colleague Claudia Vargas that despite the potential pay-to-play loopholes in the new law, "I'm not going to support any entity that comes in to milk Camden. We've been milked enough, there's nothing left.”

Here's my story: 

A new kind of hybrid school is coming to Camden - part for-profit, part public, part nonprofit, and intended to begin to bridge the achievement gap between students in New Jersey's cities and in its suburbs.

There could be as many as 12 "renaissance" schools constructed in Camden, Newark, and Trenton as part of a 10-year pilot measure passed by the Democratic-controlled Legislature on Monday and signed into law Thursday by Republican Gov. Christie at a ceremony at Lanning Square School in Camden.

"It is unconscionable to me to see what is going on in this city," Christie said of public education. "I can no longer sit by as governor and allow these children's voices to be silenced."

The renaissance school is technically a public school because it will receive 95 percent of the per-pupil tax dollars that regular public schools get. That's more than the 90 percent provided to charter schools.

But unlike other kinds of schools, renaissance schools are to be run by nonprofits empowered to use the per-pupil money to buy property and hire for-profit companies to construct buildings.

Read the rest, here.

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