By Peggy McGlone, The Star-Ledger

NEWARK — The U.S. Department of Education is investigating whether Newark’s school reorganization plan discriminates against African-American students after people opposed to the plan filed a federal complaint about it.

The investigation by the department’s Office of Civil Rights comes after parents and a local education advocacy organization filed a civil rights complaint in May charging that the One Newark plan — set to begin in September — unfairly harms African-American children and their families. The controversial plan consolidates or relocates one-quarter of the schools in the state-run district. It also allows charter schools to operate in three city-owned facilities.

A U.S. Department of Education spokesman confirmed the investigation was opened this month by the Office of Civil Rights.

“OCR is currently investigating whether Newark Public Schools’ enactment of the ‘One Newark’ plan discriminated against black students on the basis of race,” the spokesman said. “As it is an open investigation, we cannot share any further information.”

Newark parents opposed to the proposed school reorganization hailed the decision Wednesday.

Leaders of the Newark branch of Parents Unified for Local School Education, or PULSE, joined Newark parents and members of a national civil rights advocacy organization at City Hall Wednesday to pledge to continue pushing for a halt to Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson’s plan.

“Closing the doors of public schools is not the way to improve public schools,” PULSE founder Sharon Smith said.


Similar Posts