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Rice: Takeover Districts Should Be Moved Towards Self-Governance

Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee Chair, Senator Ronald L. Rice, D-Essex, speaks at a meeting of his committee.

TRENTON – Senator Ronald L. Rice, D-Essex and Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on the Public Schools, made the following statement today after the Committee held its reorganization meeting during which testimony was received on the implementation of the State’s Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC) program and the effect of state takeovers on school districts like Paterson, Newark and Jersey City:

“When we first implemented QSAC, it was developed as a means by which the State could hold failing school districts accountable without getting bogged down in the politics that seemed to dominate previous efforts. Every district is meant to be held to the same standards, whether they are rich or poor, urban or suburban.

“At the same time, QSAC is supposed to provide a path by which those districts who are controlled by the state can govern themselves. Today’s testimony by those representing Paterson raised some serious questions about whether the State has been effective in improving these districts and if we are doing enough to move these districts towards a point where the State no longer has control.

“The Joint Committee on the Public Schools will make this issue a priority this year and we will hold more hearings, not only in Trenton, but also Paterson and other state-controlled districts so that we can ensure that the children in these districts are receiving a high-quality education.”