World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Pennsylvania Department of Education

Pennsylvania Department of Education
Agency overview
Jurisdiction State government of Pennsylvania
Employees over 600 (2013)
Agency executive

The Pennsylvania Department of Education is the executive department of the state charged with publicly funded preschool, 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.[1] The Pennsylvania Department of Education oversees 500 public school districts public school districts of Pennsylvania, over 170 public charter schools (2014), 14 public cyber charter schools, Career and Technology Centers/Vocational Technical schools, 29 public Intermediate Units, the education of youth in State Juvenile Correctional Institutions, Head Starts and publicly funded preschools in the Commonwealth (PreK Counts Keystone Stars) and 22 community colleges. In 2014, the Pennsylvania Department of Education employs approximately 600 persons.[2]

The agency maintains a database of all education institutions in the Commonwealth with associated data. EdNA [5] These entities include school districts and their schools, intermediate units, area vocational technical schools, charter schools, nonpublic and private schools, higher education institutions and more.


  • History 1
  • Current Secretary of Education 2
  • Purpose 3
  • Offices and sub groups 4
  • Enrollment 5
  • Past Secretaries of Education 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


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.[3]

Current Secretary of Education

  • Carolyn C. Dumaresq (Confirmed August 2013)[4]


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.

Offices and sub groups

The Pennsylvania Department of Education operates a plethora of offices and participates in many state related agencies/Boards.[5]

  • Office of Administration
    • Office of Chief Counsel
    • Office of Government Relations
    • Office of Press and Communications[6]
    • Bureau of Human Resources
    • Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) in association with the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare
  • State Board of Education [6]
  • Professional Standards and Practices Commission
  • Bureau of Budget and Fiscal Management
    • Office of Food and Nutrition Programs [7]
  • Special Education Advisory Panel
  • State Boards of Private Schools
  • Office of Postsecondary and Higher Education
    • Board of Trustees of the Pennsylvania State University
    • Commonwealth Trustees Boards
    • Council of Trustees of the State Universities (PASSHE)
  • Office of Commonwealth Libraries
    • Advisory Council on Library Development


Public school kindergarten-12th grade enrollment as reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as of October 1 in each school year. [8]

  • 2004-05 - 1,814,911 pupils
  • 2007-08 - 1,784,964 pupils
  • 2008-09 - 1,767,008 pupils
  • 2009-10 - 1,759,328 pupils
  • 2010-11 - 1,758,988 pupils
  • 2012-13 - 1,742,438 pupils
  • 2013-14 - 1,750,059 pupils (Prek-12) [7]

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 Kurtzman 1969-1971

See also


  1. ^ "Department Information", Pennsylvania Department of Education. Retrieved on April 2, 2010.
  2. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Employment Opportunities, March 2014
  3. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2014). "About PDE". 
  4. ^ "About Secretary Dumaresq". Pennsylvania Department of Education. Retrieved September 19, 2013. 
  5. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (March 21, 2014). "Pennsylvania Department of Education Departmental Offices". 
  6. ^ News and Media (2014). "PDE News and Media". 
  7. ^ PDE, Enrollment by County 2013-14, 2014
  8. ^ "Pennsylvania Manual" (PDF). Retrieved 7 July 2011. 

External links

  • Pennsylvania Department of Education
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.