TRENTON, N.J. — Gov. Thomas H. Kean on Wednesday signed a bill giving New Jersey broad powers to take over school districts deemed failures at educating children.
"This is a historic day for New Jersey and, most important, a day of hope for thousands of our children who have been left out for a long, long time," Kean said. "When schools fail, it's adults who failed, and adults should pay the price."
The law gives New Jersey the power to move into a district that has failed at three attempts to make improvements. The state will be able to fire administrators and the local board of education, and appoint a state superintendent to operate the district for five years.
Kean and other officials said they hope the prospect of a state takeover will spur improvements in districts rife with incompetence or patronage.