Online high schools in New Jersey
The importance of education in New Jersey is shown by the 2010 high school graduation rate of 94.7 percent. The 2010 U.S. Census found that among all New Jersey residents aged 25 years or older, 34 percent had a bachelor's degree or higher, which was well above the nationwide average of 27.5 percent.
In June 2010, the New Jersey Department of Education enacted new policies to embrace technology, encouraging the integration of online learning into the core curriculum. In addition to existing courses offered by online high schools in New Jersey, two full-time online charter schools are scheduled to open in the fall of 2012.
Charter schools in New Jersey
In total, 603 public school districts operate a total of 485 secondary schools in the state. Approximately 75 public charter schools at all levels offer alternative education in the Garden State, serving more than 25,000 students. The New Jersey Charter Schools Association reports improved academic achievement for the state's charter schools, which are also outperforming some New Jersey school districts. The state received $66 million in school-improvement grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and some of those funds are planned for converting poorly performing schools into charter schools.
Private and public New Jersey online high schools
The New York Times reported in 2009 that about 80,000 students -- 6 percent of all New Jersey public school students -- took online courses, either in school or at home. In 2011, more than 40 middle and high schools in the Virtual High School Global Consortium offered some of their curriculum online through the New Jersey Virtual School, but the program was not full-time or a replacement option for campus learning.
Given the absence of a statewide virtual education program as of 2011, some school districts contract with private providers of online courses, according to the Evergreen Education Group. Students seeking a distance education leading to a diploma can also choose among private, for-fee New Jersey online high schools.