Superintendent could face legislative subpoena on 'One Newark'

By Naomi Nix | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on November 06, 2014

State Sen. Ronald Rice held a press conference to tout his bill asking for legislators to have subpoena power to investigate Newark Public Schools. Rice was joined by Deborah Gregory, president of the Newark chapter of the NAACP.

 

NEWARK — State Sen. Ronald Rice banged the drum on today for a bill he has introduced that would give legislators the power to subpoena the controversial superintendent of public schools in Newark.

The bill, which was introduced last month and referred to the Senate Education Committee. would designate the Joint Committee on the Public Schools as a special panel and empower it to investigate the operation of the Newark School District and, in particular, its superintendent, Cami Anderson.

Under the legislation, Rice (D-Essex) said at a news conference, the committee could use its subpoena power to get Anderson to answer legislators’ questions about her plan to overhaul the district, called “One Newark,” which was implemented this year.

According to Rice, Anderson has rejected several requests to appear before the joint committee, often citing scheduling conflicts.

“There (have) been tremendous problems,” he said, and added that the district has “failed to provide the public with answers.”

Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-Essex), cochairwoman of the joint committee, said the lawmakers had no choice but to issue a subpoena.

“Since she has chosen not to be responsive, she must be compelled,” Jasey said.
The Newark school district declined to comment on Rice’s effort.

Anderson appeared before state Board of Education on Wednesday, where she reiterated her administration’s commitment to continuing to implement the One Newark plan.

Rice has been a persistent critic of the reorganization plan put forward by the Newark school district, which has been under state control since 1995.

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