Interdistrict School Choice Moves Ahead

Bret Schundler is checking off his list of legislative requirements necessary to bolster NJ’s Race To The Top application. Double whammy yesterday: the voucher bill (which offers entry to private and parochial schools for up to 20,000 kids in chronically failing schools) and the interdistrict school choice bill, S-1073. The latter is sponsored by Sen. Shirley Turner and would take the pilot program, in suspended animation for years despite the best efforts of former Ed. Comm. William Librera, and make it permanent. (See here and here for other NJ Left Behind coverage.) Right now, according to the DOE, only about 900 kids participate because the pilot program, which expired in 2005, continues to operate in 15 school districts. The Trenton Times reports that Sen. Turner said that the bill will “help strengthen New Jersey's chances of receiving federal funding through the "Race to the Top' program.”

In the Assembly the bill will be sponsored by Assemblywomen Mila Jasey and Joan Voss and Assemblyman Paul Moriarty. Here’s their press release.