56 school districts join choice program

Fifty-six new districts will take part in the Interdistrict Public School Choice program in the 2011-2012 school year, Acting Education Commissioner Chris Cerf announced Thursday.

The Interdistrict Public School Choice program allows students the option of attending a public school outside their district of residence without cost to their parents, according to the Education Department.

“The Christie Administration wants all children to have the same hope and opportunity that comes with attending a school that fits their needs,” Cerf said in a release. “The Interdistrict Public School Choice program empowers parents to make the best educational choices for their children, so they have the best chance for a successful future.”  

In the 2011-12 school year, students will be able to choose to go to a school outside their district of residence if the selected school is participating in the choice program.  Transportation of up to 20 miles, or funds to pay for transportation, will be provided by the district of residence to a student going to a choice school.  If the school is outside of the 20-mile radius, transportation will be the responsibility of the student, parents or guardians.

Currently, 15 districts are in the program. Today’s announcement brings the total number of districts participating in the program to 71. The students benefiting from choosing their own public school will nearly triple, from about 1,000 students now to nearly 2,900 students in the fall.

Details on the program can be found here: http://www.state.nj.us/education/choice

56 school districts join choice program