NJPCSA Applauds Governor Murphy for Signing Landmark Public Charter School Facilities Funding Legislation

NEW JERSEY – January 17, 2024 – The New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association
(NJPCSA) today applauded Governor Phil Murphy for signing historic legislation,
A4496/S3247, which establishes the Public Charter and Renaissance School Facilities
Loan Program in the Economic Development Authority (EDA) for public charter and
renaissance schools in Schools Development Authority (SDA) districts. The bill is the
first-ever funding framework for New Jersey’s public charter schools since their inception
26 years ago, and will allow schools located in SDA districts to make critical upgrades to
charter school facilities, start new charter school construction projects, or perform major
renovation and rehabilitation projects.

“With Governor Murphy’s action today, New Jersey is taking a monumental step toward
equity for public charter schools who will finally have a state funding solution for
much-needed projects to replace broken boilers and air conditioning systems, fix leaky
roofs, repair classrooms that have flooded, and create space in century-old buildings in
our most under resourced communities,” said Harry Lee, President and CEO of NJPCSA.
“Today’s bill signing is truly a watershed moment for the New Jersey public charter school
community and could not have been achieved without the support of our legislative
champions. As the 221st Legislative Session begins, we will continue to work with the
Legislature and Governor to make sure that public charter school students are fairly
funded and have access to safe, clean, modern buildings so that they can reach their
fullest potential.”

New Jersey was previously a national outlier without a dedicated mechanism for funding
public charter schools’ facility improvement and building construction needs. The new
EDA low-interest revolving loan program will allow public charter schools in SDA districts
to fund new construction, critical facility upgrades, and major renovation and
rehabilitation projects.

“As part of our renewed commitment to public school facilities, I’m pleased our new law
includes a low-cost, statewide loan program for charter and renaissance school capital
needs,” said Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex). “After increasing school
aid to a record level in last year’s state budget, we want to help all districts with effective,
efficient strategies and resources for modernizing and constructing campuses for our
state’s kids.”

“All students deserve to learn in a modern facility with access to tools that help
them learn and grow to their fullest. This measure marks a significant and necessary
change to the way the state helps our districts make essential improvements to
their schools, and build new ones. I am pleased that the collaborative engagement
of so many individuals and stakeholders resulted in a law that will benefit children
throughout the state and I am grateful to the Governor for his support,” said
Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden, Burlington)
.

NJPCSA, on behalf of the 60,000 students in public charter schools, offers their heartfelt
thanks to the following prime sponsors of bill A4496/S3247 for their leadership in
advancing educational equity for all students: Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin,
Assembly Education Chairwoman Pamela Lampitt, Assemblymen Rob Karabinchak and
Benjie Wimberly, and Senators Andrew Zwicker and Linda Greenstein.

Select Language ▼
error: