Local control for a school district means new programs and classrooms for Jersey City schools.
Perhaps the most significant new development is that the school district has regained some local control after almost 30 years of being under the authority of the state Department of Education.
Because of the significant improvements the district has made, mostly with improved graduation rates and Advanced Placement participation, the Board of Education has voted to adopt Commissioner Kimberley Harrington’s proposal to withdraw the state from “partial intervention” and initiate a full transition plan.
In 1989, the state assumed management of the school system, due to a report that accused the district of “academic bankruptcy.” The New York Times reported then that that Jersey City schools were “crippled by political patronage and nepotism, weak administration and management, fiscal irregularities, [and] indifference.”
According to Superintendent Dr. Marcia Lyles, the transition will follow a 2008 plan that has been approved by the state. Dr. Lyles is credited by officials as having brought about significant improvements in the past five years.