By John Mooney

Legislation would return certain functions to local board in Newark, then to Paterson, Jersey City and Camden districts, if benchmarks are met

What it is: A bill filed this week by state Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex), chair of the Senate’s education committee, would require the state to return control of certain functions to a school district once it hits 80 percent of required benchmarks. The state’s law now includes the 80 percent threshold, but allows the state education commissioner to continue the state’s oversight if he or she decides the district has not shown “sustained and substantial progress.”

What it means: The legislation is prompted specifically by the ongoing fight in Newark, where the state’s two-decade control has been roundly contested after the district two years ago hit the 80 percent threshold in four of five monitored categories.


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