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Commentary By Jason L. Riley

Phil Murphy Stifles New Jersey’s Charter Schools

Education Pre K-12

In his first term, the Democratic governor denied nearly two-thirds of requested expansions.

Democrats have lost ground to Republicans on education this year. A 9-point advantage has been cut to 5 points, according to a Wall Street Journal survey released last weekend. Republicans, meanwhile, continue to increase their support among minority voters. Maybe there’s a connection.

Typical is New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat in his second term who gives lip service to school choice but in practice does the bidding of charter-school opponents. Mr. Murphy is said to have presidential ambitions, and he doesn’t want to anger the powerful teachers unions that spent more than any other interest group to back his gubernatorial campaigns.

This explains Mr. Murphy’s appalling decision last month to block the expansion of New Jersey’s best-performing charter schools, including North Star Academy and Philips Academy, even while thousands of families wallow on waiting lists. A majority of residents in struggling cities like Newark and Camden are lower-income blacks and Hispanics, and high-quality public schools are a lifeline. Anyone yapping about equity while denying underprivileged minorities access to better schools deserves to be ignored.

Continue reading the entire piece here at The Wall Street Journal (paywall)


Jason L. Riley is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, and a Fox News commentator. He is the author of the recent book “The Black Boom.”

This piece originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal