Jersey City regains control of its school district from the state after 33 years

One of New Jersey’s largest school districts is finally getting local control back from the state.

News 12 Staff

Sep 15, 2022, 9:04 PM

Updated 637 days ago

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One of New Jersey’s largest school districts is finally getting local control back from the state.
It has been 33 years since Jersey City made its own school decisions.
"When you go through the process, you learn so much,” says Superintendent Dr. Norma Fernandez. “If you know exactly what you're looking for, it's that much easier to reach that goal.”
The state took control of the Jersey City School District in 1989.
“I think it’s the right step for Jersey City – that the city is getting the control back,” says Gov. Phil Murphy. “I’m incredibly proud and we are committed to this.”
The motion to give the city local control passed unanimously after the district met all the necessary benchmarks.
“Yesterday [Education] Commissioner [Angelica Allen-McMillan] identified us as a high-performing district,” says Fernandez.
This was measured by an assessment program for all schools called NJ CUSACK. The website SchoolDigger.Com ranks Jersey City 372nd out of 590 districts statewide, with an advantage over Elizabeth, Paterson and Newark.
Some parents remained skeptical.
“I'm not OK about that right now because there's a lot going on - shootings, killing,” says Fatou Mata.
But the superintendent says that they should not be worried.
“They should be confident that we have been under the microscope. We've been observed, scored, monitored. Met the criteria,” Fernandez says.
Jersey City is not alone. The state also took over Paterson schools in 1991 and Newark schools in 1995. Both of those school districts have local control restored.


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