Governor Ed Rendell has not yet named a successor to Pennsylvania Education Secretary Gerald Zahorchak who announced he's leaving the administration May 7th to become the new superintendent of the Allentown School District, the fourth largest in the Commonwealth.
Zahorchak has served as Education Secretary since 2006 and says taking over the Allentown School District was his first choice, when he started thinking about what to do once the Rendell Administration wraps up its work at the end of the year.
"Honestly, there were people who said, ‘well why don’t you want to do this with us?’ And I with single focus, said, ‘I want to go to the front lines and work hard in a district, and be a school superintendent leader.’ And there was no better place and no other place I looked at, other than Allentown."
Zahorchak says he’s happy with the work he’s carried out at the department, pointing to Governor Rendell’s push for annual increases in the state’s basic education spending.
"We have a investment strategy, with our costing out study and closing the adequacy gap. We worked hard and were recognized as one of the only states – the only state – that has had the achievement gains that we’ve had."
Rendell is calling for another 300 million dollar basic education increase in the next budget.
Zahorchak served as the Greater Johnstown School District’s superintendent before he joined the Education Department in 2003.