Nonprofit Profile: Newark Trust for Education — Brick City’s first ‘Local Education Fund’


The Newark Trust for Education officially debuted in January 2011 as Newark’s first and only Local Education Fund. The trust emerged from an earlier group called the Committee of Advocates, which was established in 1996 and consisted of leaders from the philanthropic, corporate, nonprofit and higher education communities. LEFs promote the involvement of all segments of the community in public education. They work for accountability and achievement of high standards by everyone involved with public education, and they advocate for significant improvements in public schools. In accordance with the function of LEFs, The trust was established to improve the quality of public education in Newark in partnership with the district, the community and city leadership. To carry out this mission, under the direction of founding Executive Director Ross Danis, the trust focused on developing ideas, coordinating efforts and learning resources to improve achievement for all students in Newark.


The Newark Trust for Education is an independent nonprofit coordinating and focusing ideas, people and resources on the efficient and effective delivery of quality public education to all children in Newark. The trust creates shared accountability for student success across multiple stakeholder groups.


  • Demonstrate annually the impact of grants;
  • Increase Newark Trust’s organizational presence as the trusted source for information regarding educational issues in Newark;
  • Influence quality public education in Newark concerning the creation and maintenance of safe and supportive learning environments in schools;
  • Influence quality public education in Newark concerning early learning, ages zero to 8;
  • Partner with a university-based service provider to increase added value to trust stakeholders;
  • Measurably impact social-emotional development and mental health in Newark schools;
  • Continue to execute community-based forums to engage the greater Newark community.


  • Ensure the five schools in the South Ward Community Schools Initiative developed school-based leadership teams, improved the percentage of students attending school and evaluated the impact of these strategies on academic outcomes;
  • Oversee the completion of and publicly distributed the first-year qualitative assessment of the South Ward Community Schools Initiative;
  • Set the conditions for studying the responsibility of a single provider working with multiple schools within a system through the work of the Victoria Collaborative;
  • Through the Victoria Foundation, connect with Newark Arts Education Roundtable and Newark Thrives!, aligning the vision for the integration of trauma-informed practices and social-emotional development in school, out of school and in the arts;
  • Deliver direct services through the ParentChild+ home visiting program to 92 families of toddlers across the five wards of Newark (building SEL and literacy skills with books and educational toys);
  • Expand its organizational capacity to serve as an intermediary organization that effectively provides backbone services for public education in Newark.


Select programs include: 

  • The Funders’ Collaborative;
  • Annual Newark Board of Education Candidates Forum;
  • Annual Safe & Supportive Learning Environments Summit;
  • Abbott Leadership Institute Parent Education Series;
  • ParentChild+ Home Visiting Program.


At this time, our budget is funded completely by local and national foundations.


We have great community support from all sectors, including our very active and committed partners. Newark Trust for Education’s larger benefactors include the Prudential Foundation and the Victoria Foundation.


If you’d like to help support the continued transformation of education in Newark and ensure accountability, please support the Newark Trust for Education.

In brief

  • Location: 494 Broad St., Suite LL30, Newark
  • Area served: Greater Newark area
  • Key members: Ronald Chaluisán, executive director; Natasha S. Dyer, deputy director

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For more information, or call 973-648-0300.