NJDOE News

For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Kathryn Forsyth, Director
    609-292-1126

For Release: January 2, 2007


DOE Retains Experts to Review Costs Report

Three nationally-recognized experts have been retained by the New Jersey Department of Education to review and comment on the department’s recently-released Report on the Cost of Education, Commissioner Lucille E. Davy announced today.

“We want to be sure that our results are supported by the latest research about the resources required to help all students succeed,” Commissioner Davy said. “We also want to know if there is anything missing from our inputs, or if we need to make any adjustments before moving to the next step of the process of developing a responsible, rational and equitable school funding formula.” 

The consultants are:

  • Dr. Allan R. Odden, a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin and the co-director of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education in the Wisconsin Center for Education Research.
  • Joseph Olchefske, managing director in the District Consulting Group at the American Institutes of Research.
  • Dr. Lawrence O. Picus, a professor at the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education and director of the USC Center for Research in Education Finance.

The consultants’ reviews will include critical assessments of the recommendations made by the professional judgment panels on school and district level resources, with a particular focus on the base education program and the recommendations for extra services for ELL students (English language learners) and other at-risk students.  Their report is due Friday, January 19.

Commissioner Davy also announced two other initiatives in DOE’s effort to solicit public input and involvement in the school cost analysis and the development of a school funding formula.

Additional public hearings on the school cost report will be held in January to offer even more individuals and organizations the opportunity to comment on the school cost report.  The dates and locations of the hearings will be announced shortly.

The department has also launched a new page on its website entitled, “Planning for a New School Funding Formula,” which includes downloadable copies of the DOE Report on the Cost of Education and the report of the Joint Legislative Committee on Public School Funding Reform, an archived web cast of the three public hearings on the report that took place on December 18, information on the current school funding formula and a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs).

In the future, the website will also include written comments submitted about the school costs report, and the department’s responses to comments made at the public hearings and submitted in writing.

“We want to make this process of developing a school funding formula as transparent as possible and solicit as much public input as possible,” Commissioner Davy said.

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