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Newark Parents Angry Over Plan to Close Some Schools

Newark School Superintendent Cami Anderson
Newark School Superintendent Cami Anderson(Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

Parents of Newark school children are venting their anger over plans to close several city schools and merge others.

Several hundred people attended a raucous meeting at Rutgers-Newark Friday night held by schools Superintendent Cami Anderson.

Anderson gave a Power Point presentation outlining which schools are scheduled to be closed and consolidated with other schools. The Star Ledger reports she did not complete the presentation as the crowd became unruly and began shouting at her.

“I look forward to smaller meetings. I look forward to your input. I look forward to coming together on behalf of our kids,” Anderson said as she exited he stage before finishing her presentation as some parents began to clap and others chanted “not our schools.”

“It’s so unfortunate that people couldn’t hear her presentation. They didn’t even give her a chance,”  Eliana Pintor Marin, president of the city’s school advisory board, told the Star Ledger. “I didn’t expect it would get this bad so soon. It looks like we will have a tough road ahead.”

Parents and educators have complained that the planned closures were decided without their input. Pintor Marin says the Board only learned of Anderson’s plan on Thursday.

The schools set to close at the end of this school year include: Dayton St., Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 18th Avenue, Miller Street and Burnett Street elementary schools and the ninth grade academies affiliated with Barringer and West Side high schools.

It’s unclear where students currently enrolled in these schools will enroll next year. Anderson began discussing this detail when she ended her presentation.

After Anderson’s presentation Friday, some in the crowd chanted, “Cami must go!”

Anderson was appointed Newark’s school superintendent last May after  serving for four years as senior superintendent of New York’s network of alternative schools for nontraditional students

She was also executive director of Teach for America and was an advisor to Newark Mayor Cory Bookerin his first, unsuccessful mayoral campaign, in 2002.

 

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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