After all that talk and excitement over believing in Newark and taking ideas from the people and Mayor Cory Booker's Twitter status, the plan to reform Newark's school system with $100 million donated from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg may have an issue. Namely, that whole "improper and illegal" thing the Education Law Center previously mentioned. Apparently the state's Quality Single Accountability Continuum doesn't allow mayoral or gubernatorial participation in reform efforts for a district under state control.
Booker spokeswoman Maria Comella said, "Right now, Mayor Booker is in the process of seeking widespread community input and will subsequently develop a reform plan that will be implemented with a superintendent of schools that both the Mayor and the Governor will choose," but it's unclear whether he would even have the authority to do that. Acting Commissioner of Education Rochelle Hendricks said before a joint legislative committee, "No, the state is not relinquishing its authority in the Newark schools. The governor is looking for the mayor to do what he said, which is be a mayor committed to education in the city and engage the public."
Booker previously insisted he had no intention of stepping on anyone's toes. He said on Oprah, "This is not an attempt to formally change the governance structure but rather recognition by the state that local leadership is essential to transforming our school district." There's no word yet on what the legalities will do to Mark Zuckerberg's PR blitz.