TRENTON, NJ – State Senator Nellie Pou (Passaic/Bergen) added her voice of local leaders to praise Wednesday’s unanimous vote by the State Board of Education to begin the transition from state control to local control of the Paterson School District.

In a prepared statement released on Thursday Pou said:

“It has taken nearly 27 years for this moment, but the day is here when the hard work of the people of Paterson to improve their public school system has been validated and recognized by the State Board of Education. The reasons for the initial state takeover were complex, but the process to return local control became too muddled over the decades. Generations of students have gone through their entire educational process in a district controlled by outside forces.

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“But Patersonians, educators and school administrators were never deterred. Little by little, progress was made on all fronts. Paterson schools are getting better each year, each day and with each student. This is a victory for everyone, whether they are parents, educators, students or residents of Paterson.

“A good public education is a guaranteed constitutional right in New Jersey. Stakeholders in the system need to be the ones making the decisions about public education in their community. I applaud the State Board of Education for its unanimous votes Wednesday – votes that brings us closer to complete local control. And applaud all the people of Paterson who have worked so hard for this moment.”

Pou’s legislative colleagues Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter and Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly also released a statement on the decision.