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The Next Charter Battlefront: Suburbs

Over the weekend, the New York Times published an article about the growing fight over charter schools in suburban districts. The story focuses on Milburn, New Jersey where the median family household income is $159,000 (yeah, that’s not a typo).

Charter opponents provide the typical anti-charter school rhetoric – drains money, the local schools are excellent, test scores are high, etc. But they don’t acknowledge that even at the best schools there are students who still struggle. Just because the district is rich, the notion that one size doesn’t fit all isn’t negated.

Additionally, the district superintendent perpetuates the attitude of many other public administrators who believe that education dollars are theirs and not the people at large. He claims that the district is already losing money – never mind that Millburn has the highest property tax in New Jersey with an annual average of $19,000. It should also be noted that many states provide impact aid for districts where there are charters, which translates to charter schools getting less per-pupil funding than the student’s previous district.

This debate is just warming up. We’re going to see more and more of these types of articles because even in good districts not every need is met. Regardless of whether you’re rich or poor, some kids still struggle with school.


  1. And the Ayes Have It | edspresso says:

    […] is just starting to take shape. New Jersey is one area that is in the midst of its own fight (see The Next Charter Battlefront: Suburbs). Yet, as the charter movement puts up victory after victory in these suburbs, the tide is turning […]

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