QOD: Sen. Sweeney on Caps to NJ's Interdistrict School Choice Program

New Jersey school districts that enroll non-resident students through the state’s Interdistrict Public School Choice Program were caught off guard when Gov. Christie’s budget last year capped increases in enrollment at 5%, well below the enrollment caps inscribed in state law.  Currently 130 NJ districts (out of 590) enroll about 5,000 students; the state sends incentive checks to districts in amounts varying from about $4K to $10K per student.

NJ Spotlight reports today “supporters note that some districts have come to depend on the choice program and the state money that comes with it. Some of them have set up programs – and even purchased facilities -- specifically to help attract outside students. Because of the 5 percent cap, some districts are left with available seats they’re not allowed to fill. “

So here’s Senate President Steve Sweeney on a school choice program that is “a model of success that the Christie Administration is now stifling":
“We have a great choice program that they just put a cap on,” Sweeney said. “Kids are succeeding, families want to see kids stay in public schools, and they are furious. . . We created competition within our schools, and they put a cap on it.”

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