After 22 years under the control of New Jersey state officials, the Newark school district is getting back local control of the system.
The New Jersey State Board of Education approved resolutions Wednesday that will return local control to the Newark school district following the creation and completion of a transition plan.
The state board says in a news release that it has approved a resolution that moves control of the final functional areas of governance and instruction and program, which were previously under state control, to the control of Newark Public Schools. It also approved a second resolution requiring the Newark Public Schools and the New Jersey Department of Education to collaborate on creating a plan for transition to full local control.
The Newark district has been under state control since 1995.
"As we hand over the reins to local control, I offer nothing but support and hope for the success of the district," says Governor Chris Christie.
The state's school monitoring system – the New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (NJQSAC) – is the framework used to evaluate districts in five separate functional areas: governance, fiscal management, personnel, operations, and instruction and program. A 2007 law provides for state-operated districts to regain control of areas in which they have consistently received strong scores on the NJQSAC state accountability scale, as long as the district has adequate programs, policies and personnel to demonstrate the growth is sustainable.
"Thanks to the collaborative efforts of Newark Public Schools and the Department, Newark has made tremendous strides in the quality of education provided to their students and have the support system in place to sustain the positive progress," says Education Commissioner Kimberley Harrington.