New Jersey Department of Education
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|Headquarters||Judge Robert L. Carter Building, 100 River View Plaza, Trenton, NJ 08625-0500|
|Agency executive||David Hespe, Acting Commissioner|
|Child agency||New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education|
The New Jersey Department of Education (NJ DOE) administers state and federal aid programs affecting more than 1.4 million public and non-public elementary and secondary school children in the state of New Jersey. The department is headquartered in Trenton.
The Department is responsible for ensuring that local schools comply with state and federal laws and regulations. It also oversees pupil transportation services and directs education programs for adults and for persons who are handicapped, disadvantaged or foreign-born.
The Department employs over 900 persons and had an appropriation of $59.2 million from the state budget in fiscal 2004-05. The budget provided for $25.5 million for education grants-in-aid and $8.9 billion for state aid to education. It also appropriated to educational institutions an anticipated $821.4 million in federal funds.
The Department's agencies include the State Board of Education, the School Ethics Commission and the State Board of Examiners. It is headed by the Commissioner of Education. On January 19, 2010 Bret Schundler was named the Acting Commissioner, and confirmed by the State Senate on March 11, 2010. After New Jersey was eliminated from the federal Race to the Top funding program, Schundler was removed by Governor Chris Christie and Assistant Commissioner Rochelle Hendricks was named Acting Commissioner. On January 18, 2011, Chris Cerf was sworn in as Acting Commissioner.
The Department of Education publishes the New Jersey School Report Card as part of an effort to increase school- and district-level accountability for educational progress by providing relevant data to the public that can be used to monitor and measure the performance of schools. While the format and contents of the reports have changed over time, the New Jersey School Report Card has offered the public information about each and every New Jersey school since 1995 when the Legislature enacted the reporting requirement.
The Department administers assessment tests to public school students to monitor academic progress. The New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJASK) for students in grades 3-7; the Grade Eight Proficiency Assessment (GEPA) for eighth grade; and the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) in eleventh grade.
The department is headquartered in the Judge Robert L. Carter Building, which has most of the DOE offices, in Trenton; other facilities in Trenton with DOE offices include 1001 Spruce Street and the Mary Roebling Building, which has the facilities division on the 14th Floor, at 20 W. State Street.
In 2010, a New Jersey Star-Ledger study of teacher salaries showed the average pay for N.J. teachers was $63,154; the median salary was $57,467 annually. The salaries were the fourth highest in the country. Administrators salaries were larger than teachers' salaries, with 235 of them making more than the governor’s $175,000 salary. In 2009, new retirees pensions averaged $46,000 annually.
- "DOE Locations and Directions." New Jersey Department of Education. Retrieved on March 23, 2009.
- Acting Commissioner and Chief of Staff Named at Department of Education, Office of the Governor, state.nj.us, accessed 9-11-2010
- Mulvihill, Geoff (16 September 2010). "States cutting benefits to close pension funds gaps". Burlington, Vermont: Burlington Free Press. pp. 1A.
- Fitzgerald's Legislative Manual State of New Jersey 2005 (Skinder-Strauss Associates; Newark, New Jersey)
- 2004 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book (Rutgers University Center for Government Studies)