'One Newark' plan assigns 5 siblings in Tillman family to 5 schools

The massive re-shuffling of students in Newark's troubled school district has left many families frustrated, and some with few choices.

George Tillman Jr. had become accustomed to walking

George Tillman Jr. had become accustomed to walking his kids to the Newton Street School, which was right across from his home. (Credit: News 12 New Jersey)

NEWARK - The massive re-shuffling of students in Newark's troubled school district has left many families frustrated, and some with few choices.

Under the "One Newark" plan, state-controlled schools in the city are being shut down and consolidated to make way for charter schools. 

George Tillman Jr. had become accustomed to walking his kids to the Newton Street School, which was right across from his home. As part of "One Newark," the school was closed, and his five kids were assigned to five different schools. 

Tillman says those placements make caring for his kids more complicated. "If there's an emergency situation with one of my kids at Lafayette Street and I got an emergency situation with one up on Speedway, I got to make a decision on which child is the most important," he says.

After speaking with News 12 New Jersey, Tillman says he was approached by a school official who said all his kids could go to the Dr. E. Alma Flagg School.

Tillman believes he was vocal enough to get the chance, but others aren't as lucky.

"I'm not the only family that's been affected like this," Tillman says. "There's a lot of kids that are being dispersed throughout the city."

So far, about 1,000 people have signed a petition demanding that the schools go back to local control. Some parents say they are going to boycott all the schools during September.

The superintendent's office says they are making it a top priority to work with families like Tillman's and get these issues resolved.  

Officials ask families with school-related problems to head to the Enrollment Center at Newark Vocational High School in the next few days.

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