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Latest Round of Charter Applications Filed with Education Department

In a field 42 charter applicants, some have been considered -- and rejected -- before.

Here we go again.

With the previous round just finished, another 42 applications for new charter schools were filed by this week's deadline. Some are sure to spark off the by-now recognizable debate about charters in some familiar -- and not so familiar -- places.

Three of the most contentious applications from the last round -- all rejected -- have filed again. They are a Hebrew language school in Middlesex County, a Mandarin language school in Essex County, and a charter high school for Montclair that is now making its fifth try.

In all, 12 of the 42 applications are making at least their second bids for the state's approval, according to the education department.

With much of the tensions over charters coming out of the suburbs, there are new proposals for suburban communities in Bergen County, in Clifton of Passaic County, and in Voorhees in Camden County, which is already contesting a new school approved in nearby Cherry Hill.

There is also another virtual charter being proposed, seeking to be the third approved by the state. The Garden State Virtual Academy has bid to be an online school out of Teaneck for 1,000 students, kindergarten through 12th grade. Virtual schools have already been approved in Newark and in Monmouth County, although neither has opened yet.

Still, the vast majority of the bids remain in urban areas, with four applications each in the cities of Camden, Newark, Jersey City, and Trenton. Essex County is seeing the most applications of any of the counties, with eight.

New Jersey now has 80 charter schools in operation, serving close to 30,000 students. Another 25 are slated to open next fall. Four of those were approved by the state in the last round of applications, out of 50 applicants.

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