After more than two-decades of state control, the city’s public school district has regained a modicum of control, after the New Jersey Board of Education passed a resolution giving the district control over operations.
Operations is one of the five areas over which the city will have control, the other four functions: governance, fiscal management, personnel, operations, and curriculum and instruction will remain under state control.
The district “has demonstrated substantial and sustained progress in improving its NJQSAC scores in Operations from meeting an initial 73% of the performance indicators in 2008 to having met 85% in 2010 and 95% of the performance indicators in 2013,” read the resolution that was approved earlier today.
In a letter sent to the school superintendent on June 2nd, David Hespe, acting commissioner of education, wrote: “The district made substantial improvement in Operations, having satisfied almost all of the requirements in the Operations section of the QSAC. In this most recent evaluation, the District has demonstrated its ability to sustain such substantial progress.”
Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC), a monitoring and evaluation system for public school districts, showed that the district has also drastically improved in one other area: fiscal management.
The district received an 84-percent in fiscal management in 2014. The year prior the district received a mark of 80-percent, according to Hespe’s letter. The state is supposed to grant the district control over each function as improvement takes place, the base mark being 80-percent or over.
“While the Fiscal Management score is encouraging, and the district has made progress in its fiscal audit and other internal controls, more work needs to be done in order to address projected fiscal shortfalls caused by the district’s declining enrollment,” wrote Hespe.
The district has been under state control since August 1991.
School officials are set to gather near the district’s office at 5 p.m. today to announce the news.