Newark School District Regains Control Of Public Schools After 25 Years

Kevin Rincon
July 01, 2020 - 7:57 pm
High school hallway

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NEWARK, N.J. (WCBS 880) — The New Jersey State Board of Education voted on Wednesday to return full local control to the Newark School District.

On July 5, 1995, the Newark School District was taken over by the state Board of Education and remained in the state’s control for 25 years.

The State Board determined in 2018 that Newark Public Schools had made enough progress and worked with the district to implement a two-year transition plan to local control.

On Wednesday, the board voted to return full control to the city.

“This is a historic day not only for the school district.  But for the entire city of Newark,” said Superintendent Roger Leon.

He says with local control there's a greater sense of accountability.

“It's not that under state operation that that wasn't true. But that ultimately lays at the hands of the citizens and that they're destined to be in control of their lives,” Leon said.

Gov. Phil Murphy, when making the announcement, said the local school board can now address the unique needs of the school community.  

Leon says the two-year transition period taught the city valuable lessons.

“We have learned from the past, are preparing for a promising future,” he said.

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