Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive and a founder of Facebook, has agreed to donate $100 million to improve the long-troubled public schools in Newark, and Gov. Chris Christie will cede some control of the state-run system to Mayor Cory A. Booker in conjunction with the huge gift, officials said Wednesday.
The three men plan to announce the arrangement on Friday on the “Oprah Winfrey Show.”
The changes would not formally relax the legal power the state seized in 1995, when it declared Newark’s schools a failure and took control of the system, replacing the elected school board with a mostly toothless advisory board. Rather, Mr. Christie plans to give the mayor a major role in choosing a new superintendent and redesigning the system, but to retain the right to take control back.
For now, at least, the arrangement tightens an already friendly relationship between the governor, a Republican, and the mayor, a Democrat who was once seen as a likely challenger for the State House in 2013. It also promises to be a rare happy moment in a state troubled by budget crises, scandals, political infighting and, most recently, the loss of a $400 million federal education grant because of a clerical error.
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