New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Senator Tom Kean

Kean Addresses NJ School Choice Summit, Unveils Plans to Expand Quality Education Opportunities for All Students

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In commemoration of National School Choice Week, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean served as a speaker at the New Jersey School Choice Summit at Saint Peter’s University. As a distinguished panelist, Senator Kean highlighted New Jersey Senate Republican plans to ensure all children have access to quality education, regardless of where they live.

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean highlighted New Jersey Senate Republican plans to ensure all children have access to quality education, regardless of where they live, at the NJ School Choice Summit on January 29, 2016. (SenateNJ.com)

“For a child in a chronically failing school, every day that goes by is an opportunity lost, a future sacrificed, and a community torn apart,” Senator Kean said. “My Senate Republican colleagues and I are working tirelessly to replicate successful schools that give trapped students new opportunities to achieve and succeed. We can accomplish this goal in part by expanding charter schools statewide and passing legislation to empower all parents to send their children to quality schools of their choice for a fraction of the current cost to tax payers.”

At this year’s summit, Senator Kean highlighted Senate Republican solutions to create and foster new school choice options that will enable all students to graduate on time, career or college ready. Those initiatives include:

  • Expanding Charter Schools, by supporting the regulatory changes proposed by Governor Christie and explore legislative ways to strengthen and grow charter schools across New Jersey;
  • Implementing the “Opportunity Scholarship Act,” via S-340 or the Fiscal Year 2017 state budget. An OSA pilot program would allow children of low-income families trapped in failing public schools to build a better future by attending a charter, private, vocational or public school in another district;
  • Examining Educational Savings Account Legislation, keeping with the great work of Assemblyman Carroll, we will analyze current education savings account legislation and find a New Jersey-oriented solution to empower more parents, help more children and uplift more communities;
  • Growing Interdistrict Public School Choice Program, by exploring ways to expand this very successful program, as well as make it more efficient and effective, in order to provide yet another option for families seeking a choice; and
  • Supporting County Vo-Tech Schools, seeking to add to their more than 30,000 New Jersey students served with new choices and career-focused pathways.

“School choice strengthens communities, raises families out of poverty and gives our state’s most vulnerable children the tools they need to become the leaders of tomorrow,” Senator Kean said. “As a longtime proponent of school choice, I was honored to serve as a returning speaker at the summit, joining our state’s education leaders and school choice supporters, as we renewed our commitment to secure a quality education for every child across New Jersey.”

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