State Board of Education Votes in Favor of Local Control of Paterson Schools

Paterson’s education community was out in force on Wednesday for the New Jersey State Board of Education’s Vote on local control Credits: Steve Lenox

TRENTON, NJ- Paterson Public Schools is one step closer to full local control on Wednesday following two votes by the New Jersey State Board of Education in favor of initiating the process of withdrawal of the District from partial State intervention.  The resolutions, both receiving unanimous support, approved the transition of oversight in the areas of governance and instruction and program, and authorized the Commissioner of Education to work with school administrators in Paterson to development a full transition plan for local control respectively. 

A crowd of more than 40, including Assembly members Benjie Wimberly and Shavonda Sumter, school administrators, Paterson Board of Education members, parents, and education activists packed into the small conference room in Trenton waiting for the moments the votes were cast before rising in a standing ovation of the decision.

“This is a proud moment for Paterson and a testament to the hard work taking place each and every day at our schools and district office,” said Paterson’s Acting State District Superintendent Eileen Shafer. “Paterson is ready for local control, our community will embrace it,” Shafer continued before concluding her comments by assuring those gathered that her Administration will continue to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to “stay focused and continue to increase performance.”

Sign Up for E-News

Paterson’s schools have been under state control since 1991, and while certain elements have been turned back over to the district, including in 2014 and 2016, Wednesday’s decision, according to Rosie Grant, executive director of the Paterson Education Fund (PEF), now means that for the first time in over 26 years “people closest to Paterson’s children will have decision making power” when it comes to local education.

“It’s time for Paterson to run Paterson’s schools, not Trenton,” Board of Education Commissioner Emanuel Capers told TAPinto Paterson as he waited for the meeting to start. His counterpart, Commissioner Manny Martinez Jr., quickly added that the anticipated decision was “a long time coming.” Both offered their confidence that with real decision making now at the local level the education of Paterson’s nearly 30,000 students would improve. “A tremendous amount of work has already been done,” Martinez said touting Shafer’s work to create an “inclusive plan that has given everyone a voice.” 

Former Board of Education President T.J. Best predicted that it was the diversity of the Board of Education, and the common trait among them all of “having the kid’s best interests at heart” that will lead to more success in classrooms across the city as a result of the decision. “Paterson is no less ready to manage their children’s education,” than any other municipality in the state Best said, and the results, in time, will prove that.

Local education activist Corey Teague was also in attendance at the meeting saying after that while the Paterson Board of Education has continued to function in support of children, refusing to accept that their role was strictly advisory, “now it’s official.” With local decision makers now having autonomy to make decisions regarding the more than $500 million dollar school budget Teague said, the community will truly be able to “hold them accountable.”

And he will be watching closely, he warned, before offering that if he doesn’t like what he’s seeing he will seek election to the board he once served on in November’s election.

“We have waited over 26 years for the return of local control and now this day has finally come to fruition,” Paterson School Board President Oshin Castillo said. “This Board stands committed in ensuring the best possible future for all of our children.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Mon, June 18, 6:30 PM

First Bethel AME Church, Paterson

Marijuana Legalization: The Just Side of the ...

Law & Justice


Tue, June 19, 11:00 AM

Paterson Courthouse Plaza, Paterson

Tuesdays in the Plaza


Tue, June 26, 11:00 AM

Paterson Courthouse Plaza, Paterson

Tuesdays in the Plaza

Your Mental Health Deserves a Tune Up

June 8, 2018

Dear Editor:

For a long time mental illness has been "masked" with drug, alcohol, sex, and others.

The climbing rate of the act of suicide, including one in our very own backyard earlier this week, shows that we have to fight harder and collectively in reducing the stigma.


Sharrieff Bugg

Stigma Free Paterson

Growing in Grace Counseling Group

New Jersey Blood Services Declares Blood Emergency

June 13, 2018

New Jersey Blood Services/New York Blood Center (NYBC) has declared a blood emergency. The organization is asking people across New York City, the Hudson Valley, Long Island and New Jersey to donate blood to help replenish the blood supply for hospitals throughout the area.


In order to maintain a safe blood supply, a seven-day inventory of all blood types must be continually ...

Wimberly Statement on Secretary Carson’s Proposal to Raise Rent on Low-income Housing

TRENTON, NJ – Assembly Housing and Community Development Chairman Benjie Wimberly made the following statement on U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson’s proposal to raise rent on low-income housing:

“Secretary Carson’s proposed plan to increase rent for those living on housing assistance is housing discrimination, plain and ...

Sports Betting Is Off And Running in New Jersey

June 15, 2018

OCEANPORT, NJ — Governor Phil Murphy officially ushered in sports betting in New Jersey when he made the initial wager at Monmouth Park  on June 14.

Governor Murphy, an avid soccer fan who has called ESPN’s “Sportscenter” his favorite show, placed the first bet  — $20 on Germany to win the World Cup. He also bet $20 on the N.J. Devils to ...

Bloomfield Parents Protest Board of Education Decision to add Armed Guards to All Public Schools

BLOOMFIELD, NJ - Emotions ran high prior to and during tonight’s Board of Education meeting at Bloomfield High School.

Prior to the regularly scheduled meeting, about 25 parents protested outside of the main entrance with signs expressing their disapproval of the placing of armed guards in all district schools.  Several parents had megaphones, while many drivers passing by on ...

Senator Pou’s Statement on Hurricane Maria Evacuee Session

June 9, 2018

PATERSON, NJ- Senator Nellie Pou (D-Paterson) released the following statement regarding the Hurricane Maria Evacuee session to be held on Monday, June 11, in Paterson:


I am happy that we are able to bring these types of informational sessions to the residents of Paterson and surrounding areas to ensure that Hurricane Maria evacuees are made aware of the programs available to them ...