Newark to regain control over city’s schools

Posted: Updated:
NEWARK -

The city of Newark will regain control of its public schools after 22 years of state oversight.

The New Jersey Board of Education voted Wednesday to return control of the schools to New Jersey’s largest city. The decision began a monthslong transition process to hand over the reins of the district to the locally elected school board.

The vote came several weeks after state Education Commissioner Kimberly Harrington supported the move following a performance review that demonstrated the district has made progress in improving performance.

The state has controlled Newark's public schools since 1995 because of academic underperformance and management and budget issues. State-appointed superintendents have had veto power over school board decisions.

Newark Schools Superintendent Christopher Cerf says that the district has been improving. He says that the graduation rate is now over 75 percent and that reading and math scores are higher than the state average.

Parents, teachers and education advocates rallied at Newark City Hall with Mayor Ras Baraka to celebrate the state’s decision.  

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