State of New Jersey
Executive Order #75

Governor James E. McGreevey
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; and

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 2003; and

WHEREAS, it is important to study and review mandates at this time so that the State and local communities can work expeditiously to implement recommendations; and

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:

  1. There is hereby established in the Department of Education the Education Mandate Review Study Commission.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. The Commission shall hold public hearings in furtherance of its purpose to allow input from stakeholders.

  5. 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.

  6. The Commission shall issue a report to the Governor no later than January 31, 2004.

  7. Public members of the Commission shall serve without compensation.

  8. This Order shall take effect immediately.

GIVEN, under 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