NEWARK PUBLIC SCHOOLS RECENTLY AGREED TO REPAIR HARMS CAUSED TO STUDENTS WHOSE SCHOOLS WERE CLOSED OR CONVERTED TO CHARTER SCHOOLS? .
BACKGROUND In 2012 and again in 2014, Parents Unified for Local School Education (PULSE) filed civil rights complaints with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education. The complaints alleged that plans by Newark Public Schools (NPS) to convert schools to charters or permanently close them was discriminatory against students of color and students with disabilities. In December 2015, after OCR investigated the claims, NPS signed a voluntary resolution agreement to repair harms caused to students as a result of the school closures and conversions to charter schools.
WHAT WERE THE RESULTS OF THE INVESTIGATION? OCR concluded that African-American students and students with disabilities were disproportionately affected by school closings in 2012. OCR also concluded that the closing of schools did not result in improved educational outcomes for students.
WHAT DOES THE AGREEMENT REQUIRE? According to the Voluntary Resolution Agreement, Newark Public Schools must identify students harmed and has to repair the harms caused. There are four categories of harms that must be repaired: 1. Academics: Changes in grades, test scores, attendance, and discipline, such as suspensions and expulsions. 2. Transportation: Changes in times and distances to school, safety of new transportation routes, and ability to participate in extracurricular activities. 3. School Facilities: Changes in availability of facilities and resources such as athletic fields, gyms, science labs, libraries, etc. This category also includes over-crowding issues. 4. Services for Students with Disabilities: Changes in special education and related aids and services for students with disabilities.
If you think you’re child has been harmed by school closures or conversions to charter schools, you can fill out a short and simple form at the top of the page.
Below is a copy of the Resolution Agreement
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2016 Parents Unified for Local School Education, Inc.