Pa., N.J. legislators blast loss of charter aid

New Jersey and Pennsylvania legislators criticized the Christie and Rendell administrations on Monday for their states’ failures to win federal aid for charter school start-ups, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. New Jersey’s rejected grant application, reported Monday in The Inquirer, “is beyond disappointing and another major setback for [the] education system under Gov. Christie,” said state Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D., Essex). Oliver and Assembly Education Chairman Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. (D., Middlesex) have demanded an accounting from the administration. In Pennsylvania, Jeffrey E. Piccola (R., Dauphin), chair of the Senate Education Committee, said the failure of his state’s application showed Gov. Rendell had not made school choice a priority. Also on Monday, the Center for Education Reform released its annual report card on charter-school laws. New Jersey received a grade of C, falling from 17th to 19th place in a ranking of 41 states and Washington, D.C. Pennsylvania scored a B. Its rank dropped from 11th to 12th place. Deficiencies such as having only the state Department of Education authorized to approve charter applications hurt the Garden State’s chance for the federal money, said Carlos Perez, chief officer of the New Jersey Charter Schools Association. It also was a factor in the state’s C rating, according to the report…

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