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#LetMyChildLearn Campaign Calls on Governor Murphy to Reverse NJDOE’s Charter School Expansion Denials

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Hamilton NJ,  over the last month, the New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association (NJPCSA) launched the most extensive paid and earned media campaign in its history to call upon the Governor to reverse his Department of Education’s charter school expansion denials. Parents, lawmakers, leaders and community members responded in unprecedented numbers.

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Specifically, more than 4,000 community members sent nearly 17,000 email messages to the governor and his administration while nearly 500,000 lawmakers, leaders and concerned members from communities  across the state viewed the campaign’s video messages to the Governor from parents affected by the decisions.  In addition, the campaign’s paid ads served 2.7 million impressions, generated more than 4,000 visits to the campaign website and resulted in more than fifty news articles across a variety of diverse media outlets.

The #LetMyChildLearn campaign was launched on February 23 at a press conference hosted by parents and students at one of the charter schools impacted, Achievers Early College Prep Charter School in Trenton, and was followed by a rally of hundreds of students and families at the Statehouse Annex on March 10 where participants expressed their concerns about being uprooted from the schools that best fit students’ educational needs.

“We are so proud of the charter school community for standing firm, participating in the campaign, and demanding that the Department of Education and Murphy Administration reverse decisions that hurt families of color throughout New Jersey,” said Harry Lee, President and CEO of NJPCSA. “These denials are impacting some of our most vulnerable communities, placing unnecessary roadblocks in front of New Jersey families and preventing their children from attending schools they love and that are helping them reach their dreams.”

“My family has seen tremendous improvement in our son’s education during his time at Achievers. Having a special needs student, finding a school that best fits his needs can be difficult. Unless this decision is reversed, I am worried where my son will go for the rest of his high school career,” said Sulmi Sarceno, a parent of an Achievers Early College Prep Charter School student in Trenton. “I am worried for my son’s future and for his future education beyond high school if he has to move schools. We beg the Governor and Commissioner to consider how these decisions will truly affect these students”

The #LetMyChildLearn campaign was launched following the New Jersey Department of Education’s denial of expansions to high-performing charter schools in Newark, Trenton, Kearny, New Brunswick, and Paterson. Due to these denials, hundreds of students will no longer be able to remain at their schools throughout their educational careers.

For more information about the campaign, visit www.letmychildlearn.org.

The New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association (NJPCSA) is the non-profit membership association that represents the state’s charter school community and, by extension, charter school students and their parents. There are currently 87 charter schools in New Jersey serving nearly 60,000 students. We are committed to advancing quality public education for New Jersey’s children through the cultivation of excellent public charter schools. The Association seeks to influence legislative and policy environments, leverage collective advocacy, and provide resources to support our members in developing and operating high quality, public charter schools.

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