Anderson Vetoes Board Vote, Approves Charter Leases
Leases for five charter schools for space in public facilities approved late Tuesday
In a historic move in her one-year tenure as Newark superintendent, Cami Anderson vetoed the schools advisory board's vote to deny leases to four of five charter schools for space in public facilities.
"Approving these leases will increase the number of seats in high-quality schools and generate much needed revenue that we can invest in serving NPS students," Anderson said in a statement. "It is time that we put what is in the best interest of our children first."
The decision to approve the four charter leases, which vary from short- to long-term contracts, was made late Tuesday afternoon, with Anderson notifying the nine-member board individually that evening, according to officials.
"Our public charter partners who focus on student results, demonstrate their commitment to serving all kids, share data, and promote promising practices are also part of this vision - a vision that should supersede politics," said Anderson.
Short-term leases for charter schools Newark Legacy, for space within Madison Avenue School, and North Star Academy, within Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School, as well as long-term leases for 100 Legacy Academy Charter School, within West Side NAF, and Team Academy Charter School, within 18th Avenue School, have been approved under Anderson's veto.
The board overwhemingly voted down the four charter leases during a special meeting Monday night, approving just a two-year contract to Paulo Friere, which will occupy space within Burnet Street School next school year.
The board's vote Monday was seen as a win to public school advocates, who cheered as it voted against the leases, though Anderson's veto likely did not come as a surprise. Anderson, who was appointed last year by the state to head New Jersey's largest state-run district, has focused her tenure on reforming the flailing district.
"Our singular focus remains working towards the day when every single Newark student attends a school that puts them on the path to college readiness - regardless of the type of school," Anderson said. "We are working tirelessly to make Newark Public Schools a desirable option for families by transforming our schools."