Gov. Christie should sign the legislation passed Monday in the state Senate that would allow schools to charge fees for summer classes. This bill is a smart way to generate financial support for summer school programs that would otherwise be cut, and give kids a second chance.
Facing a major budget crunch, many New Jersey schools are no longer able to support summer school programs. If Christie doesn’t sign this emergency legislation, many schools won’t be able to offer summer school.
Under the current law, schools are not allowed to charge students for summer school within their district. The new legislation would give districts the option to keep summer schools open and charge a fee. While some districts may still be unable to afford summer school, “at least you’ll have the option as a school district to make that decision,” state Sen. Jim Whelan (D., Atlantic).
The Assembly has already passed the bill, and the Senate wisely followed suit. The estimated summer school tuition is $200. There will be a sliding scale to adjust the payment for students from lower-income families. Those earning below the federal poverty line are exempt, and the district offers financial aid for those who make under 1.85 times the poverty line.