Pennsylvania Department of Education
|Pennsylvania Department of Education|
|Jurisdiction||State government of Pennsylvania|
|Agency executive||Ronald J. Tomalis, Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Education|
The Pennsylvania Department of Education is the executive department of the state charged with K-12 and adult educational budgeting, management and guidelines. As the state education agency, its activities are directed by the governor appointed Pennsylvania's Secretary of Education. The agency is headquartered at 333 Market Street in Harrisburg.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (March 2009)|
Following passage and signing of the Free School Law on April 1, 1834, the Secretary of the Commonwealth acted as head of the Common School System until 1837. In that year a separate Department of Schools was created with a Superintendent of Common Schools as its chief officer. In 1873, the title was changed to Superintendent of Public Instruction, and greater responsibilities were assigned to that official and to the Department. In 1969, the name of the Department of Public Instruction was changed to the Department of Education, with the title of Superintendent of Public Instruction changed to the Secretary of Education. It previously ran the Pennsylvania State Board of Censors.
Current Secretary of Education
- Carolyn C. Dumaresq (Confirmed August 2013)
Past Secretaries of Education
- Ronald Tomalis (Confirmed April 2011)
- Gerald L. Zahorchak (Confirmed February 2006)
- Francis V. Barnes (Confirmed November 2004/Resigned June 2005)
- Vicki L. Phillips (Confirmed March 2003/Resigned April 2004)
- Charles B. Zogby (Confirmed June 2001/Resigned January 2003)
- Eugene W. Hickok (Confirmed May 1995/Resigned March 2001)
- Jane Carroll (acting) 1995
- Donald M. Carroll Jr. 1989-1995
- Carl S. (Terry) Dellmuth 1989
- Thomas K. Gilhool 1987-1989
- William Logan 1987
- D. Kay Wright 1986-1987
- Margaret A. Smith 1984-1986
- Robert C. Wilburn 1983-1984
- Robert G. Scanlon 1979-1983
- Caryl M. Kline 1977-1979
- Robert N. Hendershot 1977
- John Pittenger 1972-1976
- David H. Kurtzman 1969-1971
The mission statement of the Pennsylvania Department of Education is "to assist the General Assembly, the Governor, the Secretary of Education and Pennsylvania educators in providing for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of education." The Department has broad discretionary powers in both the development and administration of educational policies which enhance the educational experience and quality in Pennsylvania. The Department also works as an ongoing study of the educational process within the state, conducting studies and programs designed to evaluate specific needs or qualities of the system. In doing so, the Pennsylvania Department of Education will recommend changes and improvements to the Governor, the Board of Education, and the General Assembly.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education also oversees policies of public libraries, academic libraries, and the State Library of Pennsylvania located in Harrisburg. It provides policy of equal opportunity in the educational system, with special regard to nonpublic education and state policy of education. It is within the Pennsylvania Department of Education's mission to collaborate with other state educational departments in an effort to create a cohesive and dynamic learning environment.