Published Online: September 17, 2007
Published in Print: September 19, 2007, as Paterson, N.J., Schools Reopen After Failing Safety Inspections

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Paterson, N.J., Schools Reopen After Failing Safety Inspections

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Schools in Paterson, N.J., reopened last week after being closed for one day because building investigators had found half the district’s schools were unsafe for occupancy.

Schools in the 28,000-student district were closed Sept. 8. Workers then spent the weekend correcting the violations, including stalled elevators and missing smoke detectors.

The closure followed weeks of inspections, after which Mayor Jose Torres informed schools Superintendent Michael Glascoe about the violations and ordered the 26 schools closed. School officials tried unsuccessfully to get a court stay on the mayor’s order after saying the move was politically motivated.

Later, school officials decided to go ahead and close all 52 district schools to avoid confusion among students and parents.

The Paterson district has been under state control since 2001 because of poor financial management and academic performance. Last month, state officials said the district would continue under state control because it has failed to make significant progress on several fronts, including school instruction, building maintenance, and school safety.

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See other stories on education issues in New Jersey. See data on New Jersey's public school system.

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