Newark School District regains control of public schools after 25 years

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- The New Jersey State Board of Education has voted to return full local control to the Newark School District.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy made the announcement Wednesday, nearly 25 years to the day after the state assumed control of district operations.

"This is a historic day for Newark, and a day for celebration," Murphy said. "Today, full local control of the public schools has been restored to the people of Newark so that the local school board can address the unique needs of the school community."

The State Board of Education removed the authority of the Newark Board of Education and took over control of the school district on July 5, 1995, which had struggled for years with academic and management issues.

A 2005 law created the New Jersey Quality Single Accountability System (NJQSAC), used to monitor all school districts and determine whether to return state-operated districts to the control of the local board of education.

The State Board determined three years ago, that Newark Public Schools had made sustained progress in all key areas, and in 2018, collaborated with the district to implement a two-year transition plan to local control.

"We have learned from the past, are preparing for a promising future, and are committed to working tirelessly to provide a first-class education for all of the children of the city of Newark," Newark Public Schools Superintendent Roger Leon said.

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