Pennsylvania Secretary of Education
|Pennsylvania Secretary of Education|
|Office website:||Official Link|
|2012-2013 FY Budget:||$10,022,217,000|
|Authority:||Pennsylvania Constitution, Article IV, Section 1|
|Selection Method:||Appointed by Governor|
|Assumed office:||April 26, 2011|
|Other Pennsylvania Executive Offices|
|Governor • Lieutenant Governor • Secretary of State • Attorney General • Treasurer • Auditor • Superintendent of Education • Agriculture Commissioner • Insurance Commissioner • Natural Resources Commissioner • Labor Commissioner • Public Service Commission|
The current officeholder is Ronald Tomalis.
Article IV, Section 1 creates an executive department of the state government that includes a Superintendent of Public Instruction:
The Executive Department of this Commonwealth shall consist of a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Auditor General, State Treasurer, and Superintendent of Public Instruction and such other officers as the General Assembly may from time to time prescribe.
In 1834, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed the Free School Law, designating the Secretary of the Commonwealth as acting head of the Common School System. Three years later, the legislature created both a separate Department of Schools and its chief officer, the Superintendent of Common Schools were created. Since its inception, the precise title for chief of schools in Pennsylvania has undergone several changes, but it has been "Secretary of Education" since 1969.
There are no specific qualifications for the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education.
The Secretary of Education is not elected in Pennsylvania. The Governor nominates a candidate to the state senate, and the senate confirms the nominee by a two-thirds majority before the candidate takes the oath of office.
Article IV, Section 8 of the Pennsylvania Constitution grants the governor the power to appoint officers to fill vacancies. In the event of a vacancy in the office of secretary of education, the governor nominates a successor. This nomination must be made to the commonwealth senate within 90 days of the vacancy. The senate must then take action (confirming or not confirming the nomination) within 25 legislative days.
The Secretary of Education works together with the General Assembly, the Governor, and Pennsylvania teachers and school administrators to deliver and improve the public education services available to the children of the Commonwealth.
- The Office of Administration handles all of the administrative and managerial needs of the Department of Education, and is divided into four bureaus:
- Budget and Fiscal Management
- Human Resources
- Management Services
- Center for Date Quality and Information Technology
- The Office of Commonwealth Libraries "operates a major research library and leads the development of the state's public, school, academic and special libraries."
- Bureau of State Library
- Bureau of Library Development
- Governor's Advisory Council on Library Development
- The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (Pre K-12) manages the development, administration, and improvement of public and nonpublic K-12 schools. There are five bureaus within this office:
- General education
- Career and technical education
- Special education
- Community and student support services
- School services
- The Office of Postsecondary and Higher Education works with colleges, universities, and seminaries that grant two-year, four-year, graduate, and professional degrees. The office also administers adult basic education and evaluates professional staff in the commonwealth's public schools.
- Adult Basic and Literacy Education
- Postsecondary Education
- School Leadership and Teacher Quality
- The Office of Child Development and Early Learning focuses on "creating opportunities" for Pennsylvania's pre-kindergarten children "develop and learn to their fullest potential."
The budget for the Department of Education in Fiscal Year 2012-2013 was $10,022,217,000.
- See also: Compensation of state executive officers
- Pennsylvania Department of Education, "Department information," June 3, 2011
- Pennsylvania State Legislature, "Executive branch," June 1, 2011
- Pennsylvania Department of Education "Department Information" Accessed January 17, 2013
- Pennsylvania Department of Education, "Office of administration," June 3, 2011
- Pennsylvania Department of Education, "Office of commonwealth libraries," June 3, 2011
- Pennsylvania Department of Education, "Office of elementary and secondary education (pre K-12)," June 3, 2011
- Pennsylvania Department of Education, "Office of postsecondary and higher education," June 3, 2011
- Pennsylvania Department of Education, "Office of child development and early learning," June 3, 2011
- Pennsylvania Budget Office, "2012-13 Enacted Budget - Act 9A," accessed April 10, 2013
- The Council of State Governments Book of the States, Chapter 4, Table 4.11, Retrieved June 14, 2011