Camden Public Schools Saved– For Now

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According to pro-public education parent and community advocacy group, Save our Schools NJ (SOSNJ) , the Urban Hope Act will not be re-authorized and amended to allow for expansion of corporate charter chains in Camden. S3309, the NJ Senate bill to expand Renaissance charter schools in Camden, has been pulled from today’s Senate Budget Committee’s agenda. If it is revived, it won’t happen until after Governor-elect Phil Murphy is in office. As the Urban Hope Act is very much a Christie-Norcross plan (having been originally authored by Congressman Donald Norcross when he was a State Senator), pushing the bill to after Murphy’s inauguration reduces its likelihood for passage.

The bill was fought by Camden’s local Education Association, and an array of supercharged Camden education activists, for whom this victory was a rare bright spot. Many other local progressive groups also prompted their members to call legislators to voice opposition to the bill.

This is a victory for traditional public schools in their fight and a loss for corporate charter school chains and the Conservative-Democrat South Jersey political machine.

Camden’s proud public schools will live to see another day, although it is unlikely the fight is over. Our thanks to SOSNJ for capturing this brief video:

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