Newark continues to argue about sharing space with charter schools

By John Mooney.

More than a year after Newark district schools were roiled by the prospect of sharing space with charter schools, the debate has sparked new community outcry over more outside leases — and the option of selling three of the public schools to charters outright.
Newark superintendent Cami Anderson wasn’t around for the first fight last year. But at the very end, when newly hired, she helped calm some of the tensions with a scaled-back plan.

This time, though, it is her plan and on her watch, and it could prove a critical test for the superintendent seeking an ambitious reorganization for the district while facing what is emerging as a tough budget crunch.

The topic got a breather last night at the Newark advisory board meeting, when what was expected to be a raucous debate was cooled with the board’s sudden decision to table the discussion.

Seven leases were on the agenda as board resolutions. Each was pulled at the last minute when the votes appeared to fall short of the needed majority.

“We’d like to table them until we are able to have a community dialogue on these items and board members are able to review the leases,” said board member Marques-Aquil Lewis, who made the motion for the postponement.


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