MEDIA ADVISORY – Rice To Hold News Conference About Local Board Of Ed. Control

Senator Ronald L. Rice, D-Essex, testifies during the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee hearing regarding the Opportunity Scholarship Act.

Says he is Seeking Federal Intervention to Return Local Control in Newark, Paterson and Jersey City

NEWARK – Senator Ronald L. Rice will be holding a news conference on Thursday, September 6 at 10 a.m. with representatives from the State NAACP, clergy members and school board officials to announce that he is asking federal education regulators to review the State’s policy of denying local control to boards of education in Newark, Paterson and Jersey City.

The news conference will be held in the Council Chambers at Newark City Hall, 920 Broad Street, Newark, NJ.

“As the sponsor of the law that set quality benchmarks to allow the State to return local control to the three school districts in question, I am very concerned that the State Department of Education is refusing to follow the process when those benchmarks are met,” said Senator Rice, D-Essex. “In the case of Newark, all but one of the benchmarks to trigger returning the district to local control was satisfied, and yet the Department failed to begin the process, as they are required to do under the law. There is no legal justification for maintaining total State control in these districts, and the end result is a population that is disenfranchised on education issues within their school district.”

Senator Rice has followed reports about the State’s failure to follow the process laid out in the QSAC (Quality Single Accountability Continuum) law to return local control in Newark, Paterson and Jersey City. He said that while 107 school districts fell below standards that would trigger State intervention, only the three districts in Newark, Paterson and Jersey City continue to be under total State control, even though those districts have shown signs of improvement under the law which should have started the process to return local control to the residents.