New Jersey

Does state law require public schools to be "open to all"?


Does state law mandate "equality of educational opportunity"?

Yes—Robinson v.
Cahill (1973)

Do the courts recognize education as a fundamental right?


State Constitution

Art. 8 § 4 (1).The Legislature shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of free public schools for the instruction of all the children in the State between the ages of five and eighteen years.


In New Jersey, attendance zones could be vulnerable to a challenge based on the NJ Supreme Court’s ruling that the state constitution requires “equal educational opportunity for children.”

Open Enrollment

Limited programs focused on “renaissance schools” for high- risk populations. N.J. Rev. Stat.Title 18A § 36C-2.

Voluntary for districts. Transfers do not appear to require permission from the resident district.Transfers can be rejected due to lack of capacity.N.J. Rev. Stat.Title 18A § 36B-16

State Law Establishing Attendance Zones

None found.

State Law Criminalizing Use Of Incorrect Address

N.J. Rev. Stat.Title 18A § 38-1 states that school is free to any child who lives in the district or lives with an adult resident of the district provided that the resident provide a sworn affidavit that the child resides with the person because the parents or legal guardian cannot care for the child and not for the purpose of receiving a free education in that district.Violators can be fined $25–100.

Charter School Admissions

Charter schools are forbidden from discriminating against students based on their residential address within the school district. But charters are required to grant an enrollment preference to students living within the jurisdictional boundaries. N.J. Rev. Stat.Title 18A § 36A-8