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Frustrated Parents Say They Will Boycott Newark Schools

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Some parents of Newark schoolchildren say they plan to boycott the city school district when classes begin next week.

They will announce details of their plans at a news conference Wednesday.

The parents are upset about problems that they say have persisted in New Jersey's largest school district since the state took it over nearly 20 years ago.

The most recent anger was set off by problems with a new One Newark enrollment system last week that has families rank their preferences for public or private schools across the city rather than just attend the nearest school.

But highly sought-after schools filled up quickly. In some cases, like for McLean, only one child got assigned to a school while two others are waiting to be placed.

"If they pick three different schools for them, I have to do three drop-offs and try to make it to work," she said. "It's hard for a working parent."

On the first day of the system, offices were understaffed and hundreds of families were turned away.

"It's basically like, 'here you go, deal with it,'" said Newark Parents Union President Frank Adao. "We're tax payers, voters and we're being left out of the process."

Other parents were angry because their kids got assigned to a school they don't approve of or one far from home.

"It's a mess. The system is horrible," said parent Noemi Gonzalez. "I think it's disrespectful for parents and kids. They just want to put your kids anywhere."

Parent Thomas Oaks said he has to enroll his kid in a school outside his neighborhood.

"How are you going to get there and work during the day? I've got to quit my job so he can go to school?" Oaks told 1010 WINS' Roger Stern.

The mayor was to hold a town hall meeting at 7 p.m. Friday for parents who have questions about the registration process.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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