Charter schools are public schools operated independently from traditional school districts. When students leave their home schools for a charter school, the home school district must transfer to the charter school most of the per-pupil funding for each student.
NJEA has long been clear in its support of charter schools as public schools. NJEA's policy on charter schools says, in part, that “NJEA supports high quality public charter schools as one component of an innovative, progressive system of public education,” and that “public charter schools, along with magnet schools, vocational schools and traditional public schools can all play an important role as laboratories for innovation and provide a broad array of choices for parents.”
NJEA represents charter school staffs
As public school employees, charter school staff members are eligible to organize as local associations in NJEA. Since 2014, the number of charter school staffs represented by NJEA grew from six to 13 fully affiliated local associations. In 2014, NJEA counted 325 charter school staff members as NJEA members. That number is now over 1,000. Many of these members attend the NJEA Convention as well as association conferences, workshops, and advocacy trainings.
In addition, four new charter school staffs have been recognized by the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) and are now in the affiliations process.
The currently affiliated charter school local associations are:
- Classical Academy Charter School of Clifton - Passaic
- Community Charter School of Paterson – Passaic
- Golden Door Charter School - Hudson
- Greater Brunswick Charter School – Middlesex
- International Charter School – Mercer
- LEAP Academy Charter School – Camden
- Learning Community Charter School – Hudson
- Marion P. Thomas Charter School – Essex (3/5/14 – approved by State to merge with Visions Academy High School, a non-affiliate)
- New Horizons Charter School – Essex (placed on probation Feb. 2013)
- Paterson Charter School for Science and Technology - Passaic
- Queen City Academy Charter School - Union
- Soaring Heights Charter School – Hudson
- Teaneck Community Charter School – Bergen
The four new sites in process of affilliation/PERC approval are:
- Sussex Community Charter – Sussex/Warren
- Great Futures Charter High School for the Medical Sciences – Hudson
- Academy for Urban Leadership – Middlesex
- International Academy Charter – Mercer