Legislative Black Caucus to hold hearing regarding state control of schools

The issue of state control of some school districts will be given a hearing next week at one of those sites: Newark.

Sen. Ronald L. Rice, (D-28), Newark, said on Friday that the Legislative Black Caucus will hold its first hearing on the issue on Tuesday.

Rice said in announcing the hearing that it is in response to reports that the New Jersey Department of Education will return fiscal controls to the Newark Public Schools Advisory Board after nearly two decades of state control.

The senator said this does mean full governance is being restored, and he added that as a result the state would continue to prevent the district from addressing critical issues that affect students and taxpayers.

“The state’s takeover of urban school districts has not produced the educational results that have been promised by governors and administrations in this state going back decades,” Rice said in a release. Newark has been under state control for about 18 years.

Other state-controlled districts are Jersey City and Paterson, which have monitored by the state for 24 and 22 years, respectively.

Rice does not believe this has been done to improve education.

“I believe it’s been done to control budgets, personnel issues and to advance privatization,” he said. “This should be about the quality of education for our students and the good governance of our school districts. It’s time we heard from the people in our communities on this issue.”

The hearing will be at Bethany Baptist Church, 275 W. Market St., at 11 a.m.

Legislative Black Caucus to hold hearing regarding state control of schools