Superintendent Roger Leon of Newark proposed closing four Newark charter schools. He needs state approval. Suddenly anonymous posters appeared around the city criticizing his decision.  Mayor Ras Baraka defended Leon.

Mayor Ras Baraka is defending the Newark schools chief after anonymous flyers and posters appeared across the city attacking the superintendent’s call to close four charter schools.

In an online message posted Monday evening, Baraka called the posters criticizing Superintendent Roger León “tasteless and sophomoric” and “based on ignorance.” He also defended León’s call for the state to shutter the four charter schools, echoing León’s argument that the charters divert funding from traditional schools and fail to adequately serve students with special needs.

Baraka’s message and the mysterious posters warning “Your school could be next!” are the latest flareup in an escalating dispute over the four charter schools: M.E.T.S., People’s Prep, Roseville Community, and University Heights. The schools are up for renewal, a routine process in which charter schools must apply for state approval to continue operating.

Why anonymous fliers and posters?