It's a deal 20 years in the making.
After two decades of state control, the Newark school system will be transitioned back to the hands of its residents, via a roadmap outlined by a newly appointed board, Gov. Chris Christie and city Mayor Ras Baraka said in a joint announcement Friday afternoon.
"Together, we have created a Newark Educational Success Board that will be charged by us with developing a clear, specific pathway with appropriate timelines and benchmarks for the return of local control to the Newark community," the politicians said in the announcement.
Addressing complaints from city residents that the state-controlled district was not responsive to the community, the two said the panel "will immediately begin to solicit input from and engage the local community in its deliberations."
Christie: 'It was time' for Anderson to leave Newark school district
The announcement comes less than a week after the state confirmed controversial Superintendent Cami Anderson would be stepping down, and that former Education Commissioner Chris Cerf would likely replace her. The state board of education is slated to vote on Cerf's appointment on July 8.
The group – a panel of nine people [which includes Newark Trust President & CEO Ross Danis] with four appointed by the mayor and five, including Cerf, appointed by the governor – will be tasked with providing a return-to-local-control plan, with benchmarks, by the end of the 2015-16 school year, the announcement said.