Murphy: I Won't Say 'Hell No' To Charter Schools

Gov. Phil Murphy's administration is about to scrutinize charter school law, but that doesn't mean he has it out for charter schools, Murphy said Monday. 

"I have never been nor will I be 'hell no' on charters," the Democratic governor said during a radio appearance on New Jersey 101.5-FM. "I just don't like the way we've done it." 

Murphy campaigned on taking a "time out" on charter school applications until the state can find out what's working and what's not. But it remains unclear exactly what that means for charter schools hoping to expand or groups looking to open a new school. 

On Friday, his administration announced it will conduct a "comprehensive review" of charter school law but declined to say whether new applications will be considering during that process. 

Murphy didn't directly answer that question on Monday, but stressed that he's not opposed to charter schools. 

"If a school is high performing and kids are doing really well based on an objective set of facts, count me as all in," Murphy said. 

New Jersey has 89 charter schools serving about 50,000 students, and Murphy has previously expressed concern about how divisive charter schools can be and whether their enrollments match the diversity of the school district. 

The new governor hears different facts from different sides of the charter school debate and wants to find "one common set of facts" and make sensible decisions, he said. 

"We want to do this, but we want to do it in the right way," he added. 

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