New Jersey’s public charter schools are changing lives. As the state begins a review of its charter school laws, we want to make sure that policymakers have access to accurate information about our schools.

Here are the facts:

Public charter schools are among the highest performing schools in the state, especially in traditionally underserved communities. 86 percent of the state’s 50,000 public charter school students are students of color, and 72 percent come from low-income families. 89 percent of public charter school students graduate high school within four years. A 2015 Stanford study found that Newark’s public charter sector was the second best in the entire nation.

Public charter schools are in high demand. The waitlist for a seat in a public charter school is now more than 35,000 students long, demonstrating the clear need for additional public charter school seats. By law, public charter schools admit all students. When more students apply for a charter school than there are available seats, the school holds a random lottery to determine who gets in.

Public charter students are deeply underfunded. Charter students do not receive funding for facilities like other public school students, which means that charter schools have to divert up to 10% of their operating budget to pay for facilities. Policymakers should fix this inequity through the charter review process.

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