Newark, New Jersey, has been under state control for 18 years, and many residents have sought a return of local control. Their demands have grown louder since the district became a playground for reformers after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg gave the city $100 million for reform and the state appointed Broad-trained superintendent Cami Anderson.

In a surprise move, State Commissioner Chris Cerf gave the district’s powerless elected board “fiscal control” but no one knows what that means. Can they cut the budget proposed by Anderson? Can they change it? Can they raise or lower her salary? No one knows.

The most important responsibility of a school board is to hire and fire the superintendent, and this power they definitely do not have.