Hundreds of Students in Newark Yet To Enroll In Schools before Start of School Year

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Cory Booker, then mayor of Newark, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg with eleventh-grade math students at the KIPP Newark Collegiate Academy, a charter school, September 2010

A new system named The One Newark system which had been started by Newark’s Board of Education has run into hurdles and criticism because with only a few days left for schools to start, the parents still do not know which school their children will attend.

In this new system, the parents can select schools for their children and rank theirpreferences. Afterwards,the parents will be intimated as to which school the child would attend. Till last week, around 600 parents had to stand in a line to get the results, but many had to return empty handed. The grievances of the parents werevoiced by Sharrone King, a mother of two children. As she said, “School’s going to start on the 4th. Where are we going to place our kids?” “This is the first year that this ever happened. But it has to stop.”

Ras Baraka Mayor of Newark said, “You cannot tell parents a week or so before school starts that they do not have a school location for their child, when if this plan did not exist, parents could have walked to any school in their neighborhood and registered their child on their own,”

The district issued a statement which said, “Our goal was to work through challenges now, before the first day of school, so students and families are ready Day One,” “We will increase the number of staff, work through any missteps from today and improve tomorrow in pursuit of that goal.”

The clamor seemed to have worked, and the lines of parents have decreased,with most of them coming out with positive results for their children.