EAST ORANGE - Nearly 50 parents from Newark, Orange and East Orange gathered to protest at the Speaker Sheila Oliver’s office, at 15-33 Halsted Street, East Orange. Their demand was for Speaker to recognize the urgency of passing the Opportunity Scholarship Act for the children of her community current legislative session.
The Opportunity Scholarship Act is legislation to enable primary and secondary students in chronically-failing schools in 7 districts, Newark, Orange, Passaic, Asbury Park, Lakewood, Elizabeth and Camden access to scholarships to attend eligible, participating, alternative schools of their choice. Only 19 days remain in the current legislative session to pass OSA.
Parents protested from 10 am to noon. There was no response from speaker. The Yellow Bus Tour for OSA will continue on Thursday June 14, 10AM to 1PM with a protest at Assemblywoman Grace Spencer¹s office, 223 Hawthorne Ave., Newark, NJ. Parents will deliver another letter requesting immediate action and passage of the Opportunity Scholarship Act to enable many of their children in failing public schools to receive educational scholarships to attend other non-failing, eligible schools.
On Friday June 15th, parents can be found protesting at Assemblyman Ralph Caputo’s office, 148-152 Franklin St., Belleville, NJ, 10AM -12PM, and Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker’s office, 400 Lyons Ave., Newark, NJ from 12-2PM. The two legislators will be called on to pass OSA.
Our legislators are not responsive to the needs of our community but distracted by politics and fundraising, said E3 grassroots/parent coordinator Jerome Young. We are demanding to be heard on the issue of scholarships for kids. We want our children to have an opportunity for a quality education NOW, not next session, not when all of the details of contracting, and unions, and tenure is worked out. We want our kids to have a choice for a better education starting now.