TRENTON – The Senate passed by a 25-13 vote, bill A2806, that would allow private and parochial schools to convert to public charter schools and would give more options for their public education.
The Senate version of the bill was sponsored by Sen. Raymond Lesniak.
Sen. Bob Smith voted against the bill, saying it will take taxpayer funds away from public schools.
Sen. Gerald Cardinale called the argument that money would be taken away from public schools “bunk.”
“If someone can do the job better and with less money, it makes sense,” he said.
But Sen. Ronald Rice said many charter schools have been unsuccessful in providing a better education than the public schools.
However, Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-12) of Red Bank, said when a charter school was set up in her town, it provided a “competitive atmosphere,” and all the schools in general improved.