Paterson Education Fund is celebrating today’s partial return of control to the Paterson Board of Education. Gaining local control in 1 of 5 areas is a very significant first step in the process of regaining full control. It is evidence of the State’s intent. For many years there was no indication that the State ever intended to relinquish control. In fact, the original School Takeover Law was written with no consideration as to the process by which the State would return local control.
Jamie Dykes, PEF’s Board Chair says “As we celebrate this milestone, we are cognizant of the history that brought us to Takeover in the first place. We need to know and remember our history in order to secure the best possible future for our community, particularly for our children.” PEF has archives of reports, news articles, assessments, audits and other information pertinent to Takeover and this long, ongoing process of returning to local control.
PEF has been monitoring State Control of the Paterson Public Schools since it’s occurrence in 1991. As a matter of fact, before the state actually took over, PEF published an informational report and provided a forum to help the community understand what State Takeover would mean for our schools, our children and our community.
“The Paterson Board of Education must continue to demonstrate its readiness and capacity to lead us into that future” said Rosie Grant, PEF’s Executive Director. “We must continue to show substantial and sustained improvements in the areas of Fiscal Management, Governance, Instruction and Personnel.”
PEF will continue in its role of supporting, monitoring and advocating that Paterson Public Schools educate every child to high standards. It is extremely important that the Paterson BOE meets as scheduled, that members show up to the meetings, that committees meet and report regularly, and that the Board practices due diligence in setting policies that continue to move the district forward. Our Children are waiting.