State of New Jersey
Executive Order #30

Governor Christine Todd Whitman

WHEREAS, tuition vouchers have been proposed to achieve education reform by providing an incentive to schools to improve and by allowing parents greater freedom to choose the schools that meet their children's needs; and

WHEREAS, I have proposed a limited tuition voucher pilot program to meet the legitimate needs of parents and students through increased flexibility; and

WHEREAS, the legislative leadership in both Houses has indicated a desire for further study and deliberation on this important issue; and

WHEREAS, the legislation to accomplish these objectives should be proposed with the active participation of concerned parties on a bipartisan basis;

NOW, THEREFORE, I CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN, 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 the Advisory Panel on School Vouchers. The Advisory Panel shall be representative of a diversity of views and shall consist of fifteen (15) members as follows:

a. Seven (7) members, including the chair and vice chair, appointed by the Governor, no more than four of whom shall be of the same political party;

b. The Attorney General or her designee and the Commissioner of Education or his designee shall serve as ex officio members;

c. Three (3) members appointed by the President of the Senate, no more than two of whom shall be of the same political party;

d. Three (3) members appointed by the Speaker of the General Assembly, no more than two of whom shall be of the same political party;

2. The Advisory Panel shall assist the Governor and Legislature in proposing legislation to implement a tuition school voucher program based upon the objectives set forth below.

3. The proposed legislation should address the following objectives:

a. The proposal should be limited in scope and viewed as a pilot program so as to determine the feasibility and impact of expanding the program statewide;

b. The proposal must recognize the fiscal constraints of the State and be consistent with budgetary limitations; and

c. The proposal must include a mechanism and criteria to adequately and impartially evaluate the pilot program.

4. The Advisory Panel should also examine the fiscal, legal and administrative issues that may arise concerning implementation of the pilot program.

5. The Advisory Panel shall present its recommendations and proposed legislation no later than one year from the date of this Order to allow adoption and implementation for the 1996 school year.

6. The Advisory Panel is authorized to call upon any department, offices or agencies of State government to provide such information, personnel and assistance as deemed necessary to discharge its responsibilities under this Order. Each department, officer, division and agency of this State is hereby required to cooperate with the Advisory Panel and to furnish it with such information, personnel and assistance as is necessary to accomplish the purpose of this Order.

7. The Advisory Panel shall hold at least three (3) public hearings as it discharges its responsibilities under this Order.

8. This Order shall take effect immediately.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal
this 10th day of January in the year
of Our Lord, One Thousand Nine
Hundred and Ninety Five, and of the
Independence of the United States, the
Two Hundred and Nineteenth.

/s/ Christine Todd Whitman


/s/ Peter Verniero
Chief Counsel to the Governor