Ending an 18-month wait, Christopher Cerf was confirmed as New Jersey’s education commissioner in a 28-0 vote by the state Senate.
Cerf had been in charge of the Department of Education since early 2011 as acting commissioner while a political dispute held up his approval by lawmakers. He follows another acting commissioner, Rochelle Hendricks; the DOE hasn’t had a permanent commissioner since Bret Schundler’s dismissal in August 2010.
Cerf has promised to continue implementing an aggressive education reform agenda on behalf of Republican Gov. Chris Christie, ranging wide enough to consider an overhaul of how state aid is distributed to public schools.
New Jersey and other states determine student poverty levels by counting the number of students qualifying for free and reduced lunches. New Jersey sends higher aid amounts to poorer districts.
When Cerf appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, he said the method is not reliable and that the flaws are among “the least-kept secrets in funding.”