Other Policy Issues
In addition to the policy areas described elsewhere on this website, ELC works on additional issues that impact educational equity. For news stories related to the topics listed below, please visit the Other Issues section of the News Archives page.
A school voucher is a transfer of public funds to parents to pay for tuition at private and religious schools. Voucher programs are often targeted to parents in low-income communities as an alternative to public education. ELC opposes any use of public funds to support private and religious schools. ELC has worked with allies to oppose proposed voucher bills in the New Jersey Legislature that would divert tax dollars to private schools, especially at a time when the State is having difficulty providing adequate funding for public schools.
Authorized by the New Jersey Charter School Program Act of 1995, charter schools are public schools that operate under a charter, or contract, granted by the State Commissioner of Education. Although they are public schools, charters operate independently from the school district in which they are located and are managed by a separate board of trustees. ELC works to ensure that New Jersey’s charter schools are effective and equitable and contribute to improving educational opportunities for all students in their host districts. ELC supports legislation to update and improve the state's charter school law by increasing accountability and transparency and creating a mechanism for local input on charter authorization.
ELC works to ensure that both the NJ State Department of Education and local school districts are held accountable for results by advocating for the development and distribution of timely and accessible data and information.
Despite New Jersey’s constitutional prohibition on school segregation, according to the Harvard Civil Rights Project New Jersey ranks fifth in the nation in the percentage of minority students attending 90-100% minority schools. ELC supports ending the isolation of minority and low-income students and developing concrete proposals for addressing the issue, including consolidation and regionalization of school districts.
For more information on these and other issues, contact Sharon Krengel, Policy & Outreach Director.