Timothy Christian School congratulates Dr. Smock on his appointment as Chairman of the New Jersey Department of Education’s Advisory Committee for Nonpublic Schools and the election to the position of President of the New Jersey Council for American Private Education (NJCAPE). Having served as the Vice President for the last two years, Dr. Smock is very familiar with the workings of NJCAPE.
This new role gives him a “front row seat” to the Director of the Office of Nonpublic School Programs, Jessani Gordan, in the New Jersey Department of Education where he is able to voice concerns and advocate for non-public schools across the state. Dr. Smock will chair all scheduled meetings (both quarterly and specially called meetings) with 20 different members representing the numerous associations of non-public schools in New Jersey. He will hear their concerns and communicate them directly to Gordan.
Concerns that have been raised over the past few years include: the lack of funding resources for transportation/nursing services, educational requirements, the State’s role in distributing federal funds, and general government over-reach. Most recently, Dr. Smock is working to address a significant concern over the EANS I Funding (federal funds given specifically to help non-public schools). Currently, all other states, except New Jersey, have been permitted to use EANS I Funds to reimburse schools for verified COVID-19 supplies that have been purchased with the school’s own funds. Dr. Smock is working with the Executive Director of CAPE (National), Michael Schuttloffel, in Washington, DC. to address this inequality.
Dr. Smock hopes to bring to the forefront an awareness of non-public schools, their students and their concerns to our representatives in Trenton and our governor. Non-public school students are equally important as public-school students. “I have been told that the ‘non-public schools’ have been looked upon as the ‘foster child’ in the State’s education system. Two years ago, we raised the concern that non-public schools were not being awarded as much funding as public schools for security. Speaking to the Commissioner of Education, we made the case that our non-public students should be just as safe as public students. We were heard, and action was taken. Two months later the Governor was signing legislation to double the security fund allotment for non-public schools. This year I am hoping that we will improve our funding for transportation and nursing services, similar to what happened with the security funds.“
We are blessed to have Dr. Smock serving in this new role that will not only have an impact on Timothy Christian School, but on all other non-public schools in the State of New Jersey. Please join us in praying that God will use Dr. Smock’s influence to bring about positive changes for all non-public schools in New Jersey.