On Monday, Governor Chris Christie visited a charter school in Newark. During his remarks to press, Christie commented that Newark Mayor Baraka’s position on charter schools – and whether or not he is willing to reevaluate that stance – gives him “great pause” when examining the whether or not the state should return local control of the schools to the city.
Mayor Baraka has been critical of charter school expansion. Last week, he wrote a piece detailing why Christie’s decision to expand charter schools was, in his estimation, a mistake that would negatively impact traditional schools in the city.
Baraka issued the following response following Christie’s Newark appearance:
“Governor Christie seems to have forgotten that public schools are the foundation of education throughout America. As principal of Central High School, I showed that when parents, teachers, community, students and universities work together, a failing school can be turned around.
Traditional public school and charter school parents and advocates have united to fight for the funding needed to achieve quality education for all of our children. It is undeniable that the Newark public schools today are improving because people are putting their differences aside and working together.
I hope decisions around local control are going to be based on fairness, democracy, and the tremendous work we are doing in Newark and not made simply because we don’t share the Governor’s point of view.
While there are many factions in Newark we are struggling with our differences to provide quality education for all of our students and the one thing we can unite around is that all of us wants local control traditional and charter alike. We will continue to fight for REAL choices for our parents and for leadership that is chosen by them.”