State of New Jersey
Executive Order #161

Governor Jon S. Corzine
WHEREAS, the education of New Jersey’s citizenry is critical to the continuing growth of this State; and

WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey has over 1,200 non-public schools, including both sectarian and non-sectarian primary and secondary schools that provide general educational services to thousands of New Jersey school children;

WHEREAS, the success of non-public schools in New Jersey is connected to the prosperity and progress of this State;

WHEREAS, the State and federal government provide some assistance to non-public schools, which must be accomplished in ways that are consistent with constitutional limitations and fairness concerns; and

WHEREAS, a study Commission on non-public schools in New Jersey could assist in considering the challenges non-public school children face, identifying their educational needs, and making recommendations on how available resources, including but not limited to available public resources, could be best utilized to enhance educational opportunities in New Jersey;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JON S. CORZINE, 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:

  1. There is hereby established a Study Commission on New Jersey’s Non-Public Schools. The Commission membership shall consist of individuals who are representative of the diverse backgrounds that exist among the various types of non-public schools in New Jersey, education experts who may assist the Commission in its efforts, and the appropriate public officials.

  2. The Commission membership shall be comprised of no more than twenty-three members. The members of the Commission shall serve without compensation and at the pleasure of the Governor. The Governor shall appoint two members to co-chair the Commission.

  3. The following officials, or their designees, shall serve on the Commission, ex officio:

    1. the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education;

    2. the New Jersey State Treasurer; and

    3. the New Jersey Attorney General.

  4. The Commission also shall consist of the following public members:

    1. nine members representing the various types of non-public schools, which appointments shall be made in a manner so that the various types of non-public schools will be reflected among committee membership to the maximum extent possible;

    2. three representatives of local educational agencies;

    3. two members of the New Jersey Legislature, with experience and background that will be helpful to the Commission’s efforts, with one member to be appointed upon the recommendation of the Senate President and one upon the recommendation of the Speaker of the General Assembly;

    4. one member with experience in non-profit administration, grant writing or processing, or corporate foundation administration; and

    5. five members with an expertise in education, education and technology, or special education issues, or whose professional background otherwise will be relevant to the Commission’s work, such that the members’ participation will be of assistance to the Commission.

  5. The Commission is hereby charged with identifying challenges non-public school children face; recommending how to best utilize available resources to further the educational mission of non-public schools; finding ways to enhance relations between non-public schools, public schools, and local and State agencies; and recommending how to maximize support for the educational efforts of these schools.

  6. Specifically, the Commission shall consider the following issues and areas, among others:

    1. how non-public schools can maximize grant funding award opportunities, through dissemination of information and assistance regarding federal and charitable grant opportunities;

    2. whether there are appropriate ways to incentivize charitable giving to non-public schools, including whether statutory changes regarding giving would be appropriate and permissible;

    3. what appropriate steps may be taken to assist in enriching the learning experiences of non-public school children, such as through programs to acquire learning equipment, including textbooks, furniture, and other equipment;

    4. how non-public schools, including smaller institutions, can enhance technology resources and related educational programming, such as through donations of technology equipment and components, and by accessing other private giving programs;

    5. identify issues affecting the non-public school community, such as special education and handicapped services, school security issues, transportation of students, and health care, including nursing personnel; and

    6. consider and make recommendations on how to most effectively utilize state and federal funds within legal boundaries; and prioritize areas for such funding, as well as recommendations regarding criteria for funding.

  7. The Commission shall issue a written report of its findings and recommendations no later than June 1, 2010, to the Governor, the Senate President, the Senate Minority Leader, the Assembly Speaker, and the Assembly Minority Leader.

  8. The Commission is authorized to call upon any department, office, division, or agency of this State to supply it with data and any other information, personnel, or other assistance available to such agency as the Commission deems necessary to discharge its duties under this Order. Each department, office, division, or agency of this State is hereby required, to the extent not inconsistent with law, to cooperate fully with the Commission within the limits of its statutory authority and to furnish it with such assistance on as timely a basis as is necessary to accomplish the purpose of this Order. The Commission is authorized to consult with experts or other knowledgeable or interested individuals in the public or private sector on any aspect of its mission.

  9. This Order shall take effect immediately and expire on June 1, 2010.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal this 22nd day
of December, Two Thousand and Nine, and
of the Independence of the United States, the
Two Hundred and Thirty-Fourth.
/s/ Jon S. Corzine




/s/ William J. Castner, Jr.
Chief Counsel to the Governor