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Christie Administration Announces that Jersey City Public Schools Have Been Approved to Transition to Full Local Control

For Immediate Release
Contact: David Saenz 
Date: July 5, 2017
609-292-1126

Trenton, NJ – Today, the New Jersey State Board of Education approved returning the last functional area – instruction and program – to the state-operated Jersey City Public Schools, and passed a resolution allowing for the creation of a transition plan to full local control. The district of Jersey City Public Schools has been under state control since 1989.

The state's school monitoring system – the New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (NJQSAC) – is the framework used to evaluate districts in five separate functional areas: governance, fiscal management, personnel, operations, and instruction and program. A 2007 law provides for state-operated districts to regain control of areas in which they have consistently received strong scores on the NJQSAC state accountability scale, as long as the district has adequate programs, policies and personnel to demonstrate that the growth is sustainable.

"This historic achievement is the result of the collaborative work of the Department of Education and the Jersey City Public Schools," said Governor Chris Christie.

"Nearly 28 years after the State Board of Education created a state-operated school district in Jersey City, I am pleased that the district is in a position to start the transition to full local control," said the State Board of Education President Arcelio Aponte. "We should all be proud of the leadership in the district and efforts by the Department of Education that led us to this point, and the board will continue to support the district during the transition."

"Our goal has always been to support the state-operated school districts on a path to full local control, and today's announcement is proof of our continued commitment to that goal," said Acting Education Commissioner Kimberley Harrington. 

The State Board of Education passed a resolution that states "Jersey City Public Schools has demonstrated substantial and sustained progress in improving its NJQSAC scores in Instruction and Program … as well as substantial evidence that the public school district has adequate programs, policies and personnel in place and in operation to ensure that the demonstrated progress in Instruction and Program will be sustained."

In addition, the State Board of Education passed another resolution stating "The Department of Education, in collaboration with Jersey City Public Schools, shall develop a full transition plan pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:30-7.2 and 7.3, hereby initiating the process of withdrawal of the Jersey City Public Schools from partial State intervention."