Four charter schools have submitted applications to the New Jersey Department of Education to operate in Paterson, according to the state.
The four schools Global Learning Charter School, MIGHT Leadership Elementary Charter School, College Achieve Paterson Charter School, and the Paterson Dual Language Public Charter School (PaDuLa) submitted applications last week to open in the city in 2017.
All four are in the first phase and will have to be processed by the state before obtaining approval. Those that make it through the process will receive initial approval in September of this year and a final charter in July of next year, according to the state.
The Global Learning Charter School is seeking to open with K-1 and progress to K-4 with 120 to 300 students.
MIGHT Leadership Elementary Charter School wants K-4 and progress to K-5 by year two with 375 to 450 students.
College Achieve Paterson Charter School is seeking Pre-K-1 with 5, 6 and progress to Pre-K to 9th grade with 314 to 1,038 students, according to the state.
Paterson Dual Language Public Charter School (PaDuLa) wants to begin with grades K-2 and progress to K-5 with 132 to 264 students.
The MIGHT Leadership Elementary Charter School application was submitted by pastor Michael McDuffie.
The Global Learning Charter School received a rejection last year, but is trying its luck a second time.
College Achieve Paterson Charter School is to be operated by Plainfield-based College Achieve Central Charter School.
The Paterson Dual Language Public Charter School (PaDuLa) application was submitted by Ameuris Rosario.
In total 24 charter school applications were submitted to the state. In the big cities, 5 want to open in Newark, 4 in Paterson, and 1 is seeking to start up in Jersey City.
Paterson city council and school board submitted a joint resolution to the New Jersey Department of Education urging a moratorium on new charter schools last year. However, that did not produce the intended outcome.
The state last year granted a charter to Newark-based Philip’s Academy which is expected to open in September.
School board member Jonathan Hodges, a critic of charter schools, said the state is ignoring the city’s plea for help in stabilizing the district’s finances.
“It seems to me by entertaining charter schools the state is seeking to do serious damage to the education platform in the school district,” said Hodges on Thursday morning. “They are willing to destabilize the public schools.”
The district will hand over $34 million to the city’s five charter schools in 2016-17 budget, according to district documents.
School board members have complained about charter schools taking a chunk of the budget. Hodges said, using an example, when a charter school takes 20 students the district continues to incur building and personnel expenses.