Newark School Board Candidates Debate for Three Seats in Pivotal Election

Ten of the 11 Newark school board candidates made their case to potential voters at the Bethany Baptist Church.
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NEWARK, NJ- The three school board members voters elect in April will be tasked with ensuring the district wraps up the last requirements still remaining from the state’s nearly 25-year takeover.

Ten of the 11 school board candidates made their case to potential voters last night at the Bethany Baptist Church for the pivotal election on April 16. The importance of this year’s election was not lost among candidates or voters either.

“I can't even begin to tell you how delicate and how important this election really is,” said Tave Padilla, who is running for re-election, to a packed room. “We have a Newark [born] superintendent. The next three that are on there, when the walls come down [January] 2020 -- we will be the ones that will control.”

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Newark Mayor Hints at Universal Basic Income Pilot Program During State of the City Address

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka delivers his fifth state of the city address at the New Jersey Performing Arts
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NEWARK, NJ - The city is exploring a pilot for a universal basic income program and will launch an exploratory task force to see if it’s feasible, Mayor Ras Baraka said during his state of the city address.

The Economic Security Project and the Jain Family Institute, two research groups that are backing research to better understand cash benefits, will help launch the task force. The mayor said universal basic income would be welcomed in Newark, where a third of the city still lives in poverty.

“We believe in universal basic income, especially in a time where studies have shown that families that have a crisis of just $400 in a month may experience a setback that may be difficult, even impossible to recover from,” Baraka said during his speech at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

Universal basic income is a cash benefit that could have several different forms, but it's generally a government-funded program that provides residents a guaranteed source of income. 

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'Stop Screwing Around:' Big Names in Newark's Development Call for Better Mass Transit

L -R:Onyx Equities Co-Founder John Saraceno; NJPAC Real Estate VP Timothy Lizura; Karl Frederic, of Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf; Paramount Assets VP Richard Dunn; SJP Properties VP Peter Bronsnic
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NEWARK, NJ - One thing that could make Newark more attractive to prospective tenants? Beefing up mass transit, according to some big names involved in the city’ development.

A panel of developers was asked about the future of the city during the Newark Regional Business Partnership’s real estate market forecast on Thursday. While their outlook was bright -- pointing to a robust labor market in technology, a decrease in crime and the national spotlight that Amazon’s HQ2 search brought -- transportation was one of the key challenges.

Several of the panelists are working on developments in the downtown whose tenants would rely heavily on mass transit. Onyx Equities co-founder John Saraceno, whose investment company is involved in a joint venture to purchase three Gateway Center buildings, chastised the condition of Newark Penn Station.

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City agrees to lease back parking lot for $27M that it sold for $1

Updated March 7, 2019

Newark will pay $27 million over 30 years to rent property that it sold for $1 in 2017, according to a deal the city council approved on Wednesday.

The city will rent 258 parking spaces and office buildings on 43-67 Green Street from the Newark Parking Authority, an autonomous public agency that plans to redevelop the land.

But the agreement raised eyebrows among some members of the council and the public who questioned why the city had not kept and developed the property itself, instead of selling it to the parking authority.

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Newark Mayor Weds, Social Media Fills with Congratulations

NEWARK, NJ - City officials have flocked to social media to congratulate Mayor Ras Baraka, who wed in Newark on Saturday.

Baraka, 48, married Linda Jumah, a political consultant who once worked on his campaign. Lawmakers like Gov. Phil Murphy attended the marriage ceremony at the Newark Museum, according to a councilman who attended the wedding and photos posted on social media.

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Newark City Council Advances Pay Hike for Themselves After Giving Mayor $50K Raise

City council advanced a set of measures that could add an additional $30,000 to the mayor's salary and increase their own salaries as well.
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NEWARK, NJ - Mayor Ras Baraka just got a raise and now another set of ordinances could potentially increase his salary again while giving council members a higher paycheck.

City council on Tuesday fully approved raising Baraka’s salary by $50,000 to $180,000 and new salary ranges for several other top administrators. The ordinance was passed after the state’s fiscal monitoring of Newark mostly ended in mid-2018, the city’s chief operations officers previously said.

"There have been no increases for the administration for at least 12 years,” said city Business Administrator Eric Pennington, who could see his own salary rise up to $260,000. "And in the case of the mayor, it's a little complicated but it's been more than that [...] The current mayor has made less than his predecessor and his predecessor's predecessor.

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N.J. mayor gets $50K pay increase -- and he may get $30K more

Updated Feb 26, 2019

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka will earn another $50,000 a year, boosting his salary to $180,000 after the city council on Tuesday approved pay increases for him and his top administrators.

The mayor’s 38 percent wage boost is retroactive to July 1, 2018. The council also set higher salary ranges for 24 positions like departmental directors, aides in the mayor’s office and aides to council members. City officials say they have not seen pay increases in 12 years.

“Not every person will go to the top of the range,” Business Administrator Eric Pennington said. Where employees fall on the new pay scales will be determined by performance, budget constraints and comparable salaries elsewhere.

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Students Who Attend This Newark High School Could Soon Graduate As Substitute Teachers

(L to R) AFT President Randi Weingarten, Montclair State University President Dr. Susan Cole and Newark Public Schools Superintendent Roger Leon sign a preliminary agreement for a new teachers academy
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NEWARK, NJ - Newark Public Schools Superintendent Roger Leon is guaranteeing full-time teaching jobs to East Side High School students who begin their journey to become teachers at a new academy that prepares students to become educators. 

The promise would apply to students who complete the new Teacher Education Academy at East Side High School and go onto to graduate with a teaching degree from Montclair State University. Students who enroll in and complete the academy will not only earn a high school diploma, but also a substitute teaching certificate and college credit.

"When they graduate from college, if they have all of the conditions necessary to accept the job, they automatically do not need to look for any other job in any other school district,” Leon said today to an auditorium filled with students at East Side High School students.

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Newark High School Ranked in the Top Five in New Jersey

Graduates from Uncommon Schools North Star Academy Class of 2018 holding shirts from the colleges and universities they are attending.
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A Newark charter high school has landed at the top of a national ranking that measures how many students take rigorous, college-level Advanced Placement courses.

Uncommon Schools’ North Star Academy in Newark was ranked the top five in New Jersey in the Challenge Index, a national ranking based on the percentage of students who take Advanced Placement courses.

The Challenge Index, which has been published in both The Washington Post and Newsweek since 1998, is the oldest ranking system in the nation.

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Groups Suing Newark Over Lead Claim City's Filter Program is 'Haphazard'

Newark residents outlined the difficulties they've had with the city's lead filter program in newly-filed court documents.
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NEWARK, NJ - Sabre Burroughs typed in her North Ward address on the city’s online database to see if her home had a lead service line.

That’s when the confusion began.

First, no information came up. She typed in her address again, this time without the North prefix of her address. After living at the same residence for the last 15 years, she says her address has sometimes been listed without the word North in it.

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