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Monday, October 24, 2011

New Jersey's School Choice Program Expanded with 3,126 more available Seats

Christie Administration expands educational choice by offering 3,126
interdistrict choice seats in 71 school districts Deadline for parents
to submit a letter of intent to apply for 2012-13 school year is
November 1

Trenton, NJ - Furthering the governor's commitment to increasing and
improving educational opportunities for children and families, the
Christie Administration announced that more than 3,000 families will be
able to select the public school option that best fits their children's
needs in the 2012-2013 school year. This fall, 3,126 new seats are being
offered by 71 school districts approved to participate in the
Interdistrict Choice program, which allows students the option of
attending a public school outside their district of residence without
cost to their parents. There are currently 1,878 students in the
program in the 2011-2012 school year.

"All children, regardless of where they are born, should have the same
hope and opportunity that comes with attending a school that works best
for them. 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," Acting Education
Commissioner Chris Cerf said. "This program also allows districts to
maximize enrollment and more efficiently use space in their schools."

Any student in the state is eligible to enroll in the Interdistrict
Choice program, regardless of whether or not their home district is
participating. 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.

Parents who would like their child to take part in the program may
obtain an Intent to Participate form from the NJDOE website at
http://www.state.nj.us/education/choice/forms/NoticeOfIntentForm.pdf.
and return it to their home district by the November 1, 2011, deadline.
Applications may be obtained by contacting the choice school districts
directly and are due by December 1, 2011.

District participation in the program is optional. The decision to
apply to participate is made by the local board of education. The
district then sends an application to the Department of Education for
processing and review. This year, Elsinboro Township District in Salem
County and Franklin Township District in Hunterdon joined the program.

The choice school sets the number of openings per grade level. If there
are more students requesting admission to the school than there are
available openings, the school chooses the students by lottery. Any
school-age student who is a resident of New Jersey is eligible to take
advantage of this program.

The Interdistrict School Choice Program was signed into law by Governor
Christie on September 10, 2010. Details on the program can be found
here: http://www.state.nj.us/education/choice

A list of schools participating in the program can be found here:
http://www.state.nj.us/education/choice/districts/