Friday, June 10, 2011

New Jersey Gov. Christie wants private firms to manage failing public schools

    Gov. Christie proposed this week that private companies play an unprecedented role in public education. He wants private companies to manage some schools and creating other schools from dysfunctional ones.

    He plans to have the state launch its experiment in 5 chronically failing schools where students are hopelessly mired in traditional approaches to education that have utterly collapsed. He feels that this pilot program will provide an innovative alternative for those children who need it most, bolstering the state's efforts to ensure opportunity for every child in the state.

    Districts wanting to participate in the five-year program would have to apply. If selected, they could either allow a private company to come in and manage a failing school or authorize a company to launch a new school. The schools would report to the local school boards and get 90% of the per-student taxpayer money the traditional schools spend. The management companies would be responsible for the costs of any construction involved in creating new schools.

    If the program is successful, it could expand to more districts.

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