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    Tom Rosenthal
    Rich Vespucci

For Release: July 16, 2002

Education Commissioner Librera Makes Public
Camden School Report and Recommendations

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Camden -- Commissioner of Education William L. Librera today made public the Department of Education’s Camden Public Schools Fiscal and Education Intervention Report that contains findings and recommendations that require ongoing state intervention to ensure that the children of Camden are educated well in an effective and efficient public school system.

At a news conference at the Camden Board of Education, Commissioner Librera announced that a $14 million deficit in the local budget for the 2001-02 school year was avoided. The projected budget deficit was the primary reason for the state’s intervention by a team of six educators.

"Although we are pleased with our work with the Camden Board of Education and Administration in averting the deficit, our experience during the past three months substantiates the necessity of the Administration’s direct involvement in ensuring accountability and improved performance," Dr. Librera said.

Librera also announced the appointment of two people to provide technical assistance in fiscal areas and in administration and operations for the entire school year. The officials are Wayne Thomas, who will represent the DOE in fiscal matters, and Morris Reid, who will work with the local officials in administrative matters and operations.

"These gentlemen, on behalf of the department, will work with the Camden board and administration and others, to ensure that carefully designed plans are established prior to decisions and actions," Librera said. "The essence of our report is that we see a clear need for better planning at the local level. With better planning comes better results in administration and the budget. We’ve accomplished much, and much, much more still needs to be done."