The Newark Debate Academy (NDA & formerly the Jersey Urban Debate League) was established through a grant from George Soros' Open Society Institute and operates in a partnership with FOCUS, Inc. NDA has covered an area with a radius of 10 miles with Newark at the center. The cities involved in the league contain well over 30 schools serving predominately African-American and Latino students. The lacademy will offer training for students and coaches, logistical and financial support for team operation and monthly local debate tournaments.
NDA began its operation in Newark. Science High School in Newark began its debate program in 1978. During the ensuing 24 years, Science High has experienced strong competitive success on the state, regional and national debate circuits including over 20 years qualifying for the national finals and over 20 varsity state championships. The Newark Public School district's central administration stands ready to support the expansion of debate to all of Newark's public schools.