The proposed Opportunity Scholarship Act (“OSA”) is part of this broader reform framework that emphasizes “quality spending.”
The OSA is an attempt to undermine the status quo in New Jersey’s poorest districts by allowing low-income parents to choose a school that best fits their child’s needs.
The OSA basically operates as a limited voucher for students from low-income families living in the state’s worst performing school districts. While the OSA is not the “magic pill” that will solve New Jersey’s education crisis in areas of concentrated poverty, it allows students to escape failing schools and implicitly asserts that more money alone will not help those students currently attending the state’s worst performing schools.
Despite receiving bipartisan political support, including leaders in New Jersey’s worst performing school districts, The OSA has received bipartisan support from political leaders such as Newark’s Democratic Mayor Corey Booker and New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie. In addition, an overwhelming majority of New Jersey citizens support it. Despite such widespread backing, and years of efforts the OSA has not been brought to a vote in our legislature.