Three New Jersey cities are in line to get new private schools financed largely by taxpayer dollars, as a result of a bill Gov. Chris Christie signed last week.
Under the Urban Hope Act, nonprofit groups can build up to four schools each in Camden, Newark, and Trenton and get significant taxpayer money to run them.
The Urban Hope Act was championed by Democrats.
The new schools would differ from the charter schools that have been in New Jersey for the past 15 years in that they would be part of local school districts, not separate entities. Like charter schools, they would be funded by the local school board. But they would receive more money per pupil—95 percent of the public school’s allocation, rather than the 90 percent charters receive.
The bill had the support of the New Jersey Education Association, the state’s largest teachers’ union and a group that opposes key parts of many of Gov. Christie’s education plans.
A version of this article appeared in the January 18, 2012 edition of Education Week as N.J. Gov. Signs Bill to Aid Private Schools