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Hackensack-Based Charter Schools Get State OK to Grow

Three Bergen County Schools received permission to expand in the next academic year.
Three Bergen County Schools received permission to expand in the next academic year. Photo Credit: Facebook
Three Bergen County Schools received permission to expand in the next academic year.
Three Bergen County Schools received permission to expand in the next academic year. Photo Credit: Facebook

HACKENSACK, N.J. -- Three Bergen County charter schools got the go-ahead from the state Monday to expand enrollment for the upcoming academic year.

The Bergen Arts and Sciences Charter School, which has campuses in Garfield, Lodi and Hackensack, is being allowed to increase its student body by nearly 35 percent. Englewood’s Palisades Charter School got permission to grow to 252 seats and the Teaneck Community Charter School can grow to 320 seats.

“Being able to serve more students is in direct correlation with our larger mission,” said Ralph Gallo, lead person at TCCS.

Classes there will increase by one -- from 17 to 18 students per room - so there aren’t any concerns about overcrowding, Gallo said. The school is adding students next year only in grades K-6.

“The overwhelming support that we received from parents and teachers helps us be comfortable with this,” Gallo said.

There are 89 charter schools in the state. Since 2010, 39 new charter schools have opened, but 17 have also been closed due to academic, operational or financial deficiencies, according to the state Department of Education.

"We have a moral and ethical duty to ensure that all students have access to a high-quality school,” Education Commissioner David C. Hespe said. “Expanding the number charter schools and seats available ensures that students and parents, especially in our academically struggling districts, have more options to achieve success."

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