WHEREAS, the education of the State's children is critically important to
the State's economy and future prosperity; and
WHEREAS, despite a record budget deficit over the past 20 months, the
State has provided an increase of $277 million in education aid in the
FY04 budget; and
WHEREAS, in times of fiscal crisis, it is imperative that the State
invest its resources in programs that maximize educational achievement
such as early literacy, high quality teaching, and modern school facilities;
WHEREAS, the State has undertaken an $8.6 billion school construction
program that provides direct property relief to communities throughout
the State; and
WHEREAS, it is important for the State and school districts to scrutinize
spending and determine where savings can be achieved in order to preserve
educational programs and to use State and local resources as wisely and
efficiently as possible; and
WHEREAS, several educational advocacy organizations, most notably led
by the Garden State Coalition of Schools, have sought legislation to establish
a commission that would study the effect of State mandates on school districts
and where cost savings might be realized through flexibility or elimination
of unnecessary or non-productive mandates; and
WHEREAS, the State should review education mandates to identify those
that are unnecessary, duplicative, and/or those that impose additional
cost burdens to school districts without providing real benefits so that
education funds can be spent on programs that are most effective; and
WHEREAS, legislation to establish an Education Mandate Review Study
Commission was passed by the New Jersey State Senate on June 23, 2003,
but did not come before the Assembly prior to adjournment in early July
WHEREAS, it is important to study and review mandates at this time so
that the State and local communities can work expeditiously to implement
WHEREAS, the State has a compelling interest to consider how mandates
can be eliminated or altered so as to provide flexibility that will allow
school districts to realize cost savings and improve educational services;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JAMES E. McGREEVEY, Governor of the State of New
Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and
by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:
- There is hereby established in the Department of Education the Education
Mandate Review Study Commission.
- The Commission shall consist of the Commissioner of Education, or
his designee, and twelve public members appointed by the Governor. The
Governor shall appoint the chair of the Commission.
- The Commission shall identify and evaluate State statutory and regulatory
requirements imposed upon school districts and make recommendations
regarding those mandates that may be altered or eliminated to provide
cost flexibility or cost savings to school districts.
- The Commission shall hold public hearings in furtherance of its purpose
to allow input from stakeholders.
- The Commission is authorized to call upon any department, office,
division or agency of State government to provide such information,
resources or other assistance deemed necessary to discharge its responsibilities
under this Order. Each department, office, division and agency of this
State is required to cooperate with the Commission and to furnish it
with such information and assistance as is necessary to accomplish the
purposes of this Order.
- The Commission shall issue a report to the Governor no later than
January 31, 2004.
- Public members of the Commission shall serve without compensation.
- This Order shall take effect immediately.
my hand and seal this 22nd day
of October in the Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand
and Three, and of the Independence of the United
States, the Two Hundred and Twenty-Eighth.
/s/ James E. McGreevey
/s/ Michael R. DeCotiis
Chief Counsel to the Governor