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Phone: 609-394-2828 (office)
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Garden State Coalition of Schools
Elisabeth Ginsburg, Executive Director
160 West State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08608

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News Release, Announcing Commission Formation, October 2003

McGreevey signs executive order creating a commission to find state education mandates that waste money.


Commission Will Seek Efficiencies in State Mandates While Ensuring Quality Education

(TRENTON)-In an effort to ensure New Jersey families' hard-earned dollars are being used to provide their children with a quality education, Governor James E. McGreevey today signed an Executive Order creating the Education Mandate Review Study Commission. The Commission will be tasked with evaluating and identifying State mandates that are wasteful and inefficient, and recommending changes or eliminations of the bureaucracy, so more dollars are going towards improving education.

 "We know what works to improve education - targeting early literacy, improving teacher quality and building safe, modern, uncrowded classrooms," said Governor McGreevey. "We cannot have valuable education dollars going towards needless bureaucratic paperwork instead of effective programs that prepare our children to compete in the 21st century.

 "In this difficult economy, our districts should not have to spend money complying with State mandates that don't improve education. With the creation of this Commission, we will not only ensure that all of our education dollars are going towards programs that work, we will keep our educators spending time on our children not on paperwork, and ultimately we will also be helping to provide meaningful property tax relief."

 Legislation to create this Commission, S-2421, sponsored by Senator John Adler, passed the New Jersey State Senate unanimously (38-0) on June 23, 2003, but did not come before the Assembly prior to adjournment in early July 2003. However, both Governor McGreevey and Senator Adler agreed it was important to move forward with the creation of the Commission so study can be completed by January 2004, and changes can be implemented as soon as possible. The Commission will hold its first meeting over the next two weeks.

 "The Governor should be commended for moving the process forward to benefit property taxpayers and to ensure quality education," said Senator Adler. "Government efficiencies can save millions of dollars for property taxpayers without jeopardizing the learning environment for our children."

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 list of Commission members is as follows (Resumes are available on request):

CHAIR - Mildred Garcia (Fort Lee Borough, Bergen) 
VICE-CHAIR - Senator John Adler (Cherry Hill, Camden)
Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (Trenton, Mercer)
Ross Danis (Long Valley, Morris) 
Silvia Abbato (Hudson County) 
Jane Susswein (Montclair, Essex)
Joseph Jones, III (Medford, Burlington)
     Recommended by NJ Principals and Supervisors Association
Dr. Joan Nesenkar Saylor (Jacobstown, Burlington)
     Recommended by NJ Association of School Business Officials
Raymond J. Brosel, Jr. (Marlton, Burlington)
     Recommended by NJ Association of School Administrators
Richard Sullivan (Burlington Township, Burlington)
     Recommended by NJ School Boards of Education
Lynne Strickland (Rumson, Monmouth)
     Recommended by Garden State Coalition of Schools
Edith Fulton (Toms River, Ocean)
     Recommended by NJ Education Association

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Micah Rasmussen - 609-777-2600

Garden State Coalition of Schools
160 W. State Street, Trenton New Jersey 08608