NEWARK - The auditorium at Barringer High School in Newark was filled to capacity tonight as parents and teachers discussed whether charter schools and public schools should share the same space.

There was anguish and uncertainty over a proposal to consolidate Newark public schools. The merger would place specialized students and at-risk classmates together, which many parents and teachers are against.

Opinions were mixed at the meeting, with some expressing concern that charter schools will be able to make advances and raise money that regular public schools can't. Some say this would create a two-tiered system as Newark looks to change K through 12 education.

Newark's teachers union also opposes the plan, saying that it will hurt educational opportunities for non-charter students.