Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Elementary Education


Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education


College of Education


Molinari, Louis


Charter schools--New Jersey


Elementary Education and Teaching


Charter schools have recently become an innovative method of educating a portion of today's students. A charter school is a deregulated public school that is performance-based. It operates under a charter (contract) between people who want to start a school and an official body authorized to grant a charter.

On January 11, 1996, New Jersey Governor Christine T. Whitman signed into law The Charter School Program Act of 1995. This act enabled the beginning of New Jersey charter schools. This study investigates the paths New Jersey's eighteen approved charter schools are taking. Becoming familiar with the Charter School Program Act of 1995 was essential in this study. A summary of its contents are presented. A survey concerning staff, finding, facilities and enrollment was sent to each charter school. To complete the study there was an analysis of the charter schools' mission statements to determine the focus of philosophies and curriculums.

It was found that the majority of New Jersey's charter schools are elementary schools. The majority of curriculums are focusing on establishing self-esteem and civic responsibility. Technology is incorporated into most areas of the curriculum. A majority of the charter schools are located in urban areas. Additional funding will most likely be the largest negative in their existences.