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NJ Interdistrict Choice Program Shows Huge Growth But Limited Reach

Newark Star-Ledger (NJ) (06/08/14) McGlone, Peggy

New Jersey's Interdistrict Choice program began four years ago to allow parents to send their children to another school district at no cost. Acting State Education Commissioner David Hespe said at an April Senate Budget Committee meeting, "It helps kids and it helps school districts. It is one of the most successful things the state has implemented." The program has been called a "phenomenal success" by Hespe, as it enrolled 964 students in 15 districts when it began in 2010. About 5,500 students are expected to attend schools in 130 districts by 2015. However, New Jersey has spent $10,500 on average per student, and 14 of the 105 school districts approved by state officials enrolled almost half of the program's students this year and accepted $26 million (53 percent) of the $49 million in state funds.
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