Public Charter Schools are bringing more than educational options to Newark families—

…they are also transforming blighted landscapes into islands of prosperity and bringing construction jobs to our City! Yup, it’s true!

For over 40 years, Newark’s trash-strewn lots, abandoned buildings, and failing schools have been the ugly visuals that have branded Brick City.

But over the last few years, something has been happening…there has been a tremendous investment of literally tens and tens and tens of millions of dollars back into our community.

Residents have seen construction sites, bulldozers, and ribbon cuttings throughout Newark that heralds the arrival of beautiful educational facilities, playgrounds and sports fields.

New, modern, 21st Century public schools are now available to Newark students. These improvements have not replaced all the school buildings, some of which are as old as the Lincoln Administration….

…but because of public school options, there is now at least a choice for all of our kids.

New Athletic fields and gymnasiums, which were once vacant lots, have been built and now echo with the joyful laughter of our children playing and exercising.

These projects have deleted eyes sores and hangout spots for loiters and drug dealers. 

So who is taking the lead on this? Who are building these partnerships?

We can thank Newark’s public charter schools.

Lets look at the facts…

We would be hard pressed to find another group that has shown such a continued commitment to and an investment in our City.

We are seeing Newark public charter schools doubling down in support of our City and deeply investing time, labor and resources to create this renaissance period for Newark.

Instead of cutting and running or even just hedging their bets, over the last ten years Newark charters have gone out and raised tens and tens and tens of millions of dollars to reinvest and revitalize our neighborhoods.

And it is the children and local communities of Newark who are benefiting from this renaissance.

While many have complained about our City – it’s the public charters that have stepped up, identified the needed, filled the void, and have become the focal points of our neighborhoods.

Just look at 18th Avenue School. There were bricks from the building literally crashing to the sidewalk regularly. No one was doing anything about it—absolutely nothing! It would have been much easier to tear down the building and even less expensive to build a new school in another town, but instead – in hopes of keeping an important landmark – KIPP New Jersey invested over $30 million dollars to fix it. Today, more than 700 Newark children have are now walking into a 21st century school building every day.

Another example of this revitalization is the more than half a million dollars North Star invested to make much-needed improvements at the 15th Avenue School and the beautiful gymnasium and soccer field that now sits prominently on Sanford Avenue.

Just this week, yet another investment at Rise Academy was introduced with a beautiful ribbon cutting. $6 million was invested.

Take a look at the before and after photos…. Kids playing during recess in a concrete lot –


AFTER – Well, it speaks for itself….


But before we go any further, let’s be clear…again, let’s focus on facts…

Public charter schools are available to everyone. Public charters schools are working in conjunction with elected officials, block associations, and neighborhood organizations to ensure the benefits of these investments are shared with all members of the community.

I was born and raised in Newark. I’ve seen good times and bad.

From my vantage point….

  • Public charter schools in Newark are beautifying Newark’s landscape, and the facts prove it. They not only care and are a part of our community, but they are investing millions.
  • The results of these investments are helping change the perception of our City. You can now travel around and see these beautiful new buildings and fields. None of them would be here without Public charter schools actually committing themselves to Newark.
  • The buildings and parks being created are providing our kids with the highest quality resources. Kids that were once having recess on concrete parking lots are now able to run around and play on beautiful grass fields. Public charters school are stepping up, when no one else seems to know how.
  • AND LETS NOT FORGET…these public charter school investments and improvements – are also providing many needed jobs to Newarkers.
  • AND MOST OF ALL…here is another important fact – our children see these islands of change and they now have higher expectation. They are rejecting the notion that neighborhood decay and government mediocrity is an acceptable way of life here.

So while others seem more interested in defending decades of abuse, bureaucracy, and just more of the same…public charters are the ones who are actually investing in Newark, improving our communities, creating new jobs and providing hope.

Charter schools are not only teaching our children, but also showing residents—and politicians—that education can be a beautiful thing.