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NJ Derails Opening of Jewish Charter School

By: JTA

A Hebrew charter school in Bergen County, N.J., will not open as expected because the state said it failed to provide some needed documents.

Shalom Academy, according to a letter written Monday by Acting Education Commissioner Chris Cerf to the school’s founder, Raphael Bachrach, did not provide a certificate of occupancy for educational use and a “sanitary inspection report with a satisfactory rating,” The New York Jewish Week reported.

The charter school, which was scheduled to open in several weeks, was approved initially in January and was set to provide a Hebrew immersion program for up to 240 students from kindegarten to eighth grade.

Local school leaders reportedly opposed the academy, which would serve children in Teaneck and Englewood, saying it would drain resources from the public schools.

Cerf wrote that Shalom can appeal the state’s decision to Superior Court, the Record of Hackensack reported. The next application deadline for which the school is eligible is April 1, 2013.

The Shalom Academy would have been the second Hebrew-immersion charter school in the state, joining the Hatikvah International Academy that opened last year in East Brunswick with 108 students in kindergarten through second grade. Ninety percent of its students come from East Brunswick.

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