​If Not Now, Then When?


There is an educational crisis in this country and nowhere is that crisis more profound than in low-income and working-class Black families. The Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) believes that our children need access to high-quality educational options…period.

In Newark, more low-income and working class Black children need access to a high quality education. 62% of the students who dropped out of high school in 2013 in Newark were Black. Of those remaining in high school one-third did not graduate. 30% of Black students scored below basic on the 2013 4th grade math assessments compared to only 6% of white students according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The numbers are similar for 4th grade reading.

The mission of BAEO is to increase access to high-quality educational options for Black children by actively supporting transformational education reform initiatives and parental choice policies that empower low-income and working class Black families.

If people with money can decide where their children go to school, then people without money should have the same privilege.

New Jersey BAEO will officially launch in Newark this week. BAEO advances its mission through four broad categories of activity:


BAEO advocates on behalf of low-income and working-class Black families for high-quality educational options and the choice to access those options, but also seeks to expand opportunities for communities and individuals to empower themselves.

Educating and Informing

BAEO believes that education and information are powerful tools that are often overlooked in education reform - in particular in communities of color. In all our efforts, BAEO seeks to educate and inform various segments of the Black community.


Among BAEO's most important functions is convening people for discussion, debate, planning, and action around parental choice and other education reform initiatives, including Black parents, students, elected officials and other leaders, clergy, educators, and community activists.

Leading and Cultivating Leaders

BAEO engages on the national level as a credible Black voice on a broad range of education reform issues, with particular interest in conversations about parental choice and quality in education. It is also our priority to identify, cultivate, and prepare a new generation of Black leaders who will be prepared to carry into the future the critical mission of ensuring that all children have access to a quality education.

We’re here to answer the immediate and critical call for change in our Black communities. We have to fight for high-quality options and reforms, like charter schools, that give low-income and working-class Black children an opportunity for success in life. New Jersey BAEO is committed to working with schools, families and communities to expand options that give parents a choice and Black students a chance at success and a chance to have better lives than all of us.

Won’t you join us?

- LaVar Young

Newark City Director

New Jersey Black Alliance for Educational Options