Tag Archive: state control

Outrage must lead to Action: State Control of Newark Schools Must End

This excellent post got torpedoed by the Hoboken developments of this weekend. What's going on in Newark is incredible. Thanks, Momotombo, for this post. Bob Braun is posting here later on Newark, too. – Promoted by Rosi

The outcry since the announcement of the One Newark Plan has been steadily building with community meetingsprotests, and press. Cami Anderson's pronouncement yesterday that five principals would be suspended ratcheted up outrage to a new level.  For good reason.  

But outrage is not enough.  It is time we put our outrage into action.  

Many people around New Jersey, and thanks to social media around the country, are just getting wind of what has been a long term pattern of dictatorial leadership by Superintenedent Cami Anderson.  She was annointed by Commissioner Cerf to run the public schools of Newark, but instead is on a path of privatizing them.

But please realize this is not new for Newark. State control has been the norm for 18 years and all the state has demonstrated is a commitment to ignoring the voices of the people of Newark and running the schools into the ground. The state has failed to improve the educational condition of Newark Public Schools.  They have failed to earn, or for that matter even try to earn, the respect of the people of Newark. So what is happening now is outrageous and unacceptable but far from new, unexpected, or surprising.  

So what are we going to do about it?  

Let's talk about it. Jump below the fold with me. 

Redd and Christie both want to end state control of Camden

For the last seven years, the state has gotten the last word on local actions taken by governing bodies from the planning board to the school board to city council. Newly elected Camden Mayor Dana Redd wants to put an end to that state control:

Seven years ago, the state implemented a $175 million bailout designed to invigorate commerce in Camden, a city weighed down by poverty, crime and corruption. In exchange, the governor got final say over the actions of governing bodies from the planning board to the school board to city council.

Now that most of that aid has been spent, Redd says it’s time to put the mayor back in charge.

“I fully expect to be in control of leading the city,” Redd said in an interview days after her easy victory.

It appears that the new Governor is willing to create a realistic timetable to hand back control:

New Jersey Gov.-elect Christopher J. Christie yesterday described the state takeover of Camden as mostly a “failure” and said he would work with Camden’s next mayor to shift power back to the city.

“I’d like to return control of Camden to the City of Camden as quickly as I possibly could,” he said after meeting with high school students in Hamilton Township, Mercer County. “My fundamental position is, I don’t believe that the state should be controlling municipalities in New Jersey.”

The Inquirer article says that State Legislators have considered loosening controls even before Christie takes office. While many leaders in Camden supported the initial takeover, there is a feeling that the state monies were not well allocated and control should be returned to local authorities. What do you think should be done with state control of cities like Camden?