Lynne Strickland,

Executive Director

Garden State Coalition of Schools  


As Executive Director of the Garden State Coalition of Schools, Lynne represents 100 New Jersey school districts and their communities. GSCS is a statewide, grassroots volunteer association, primarily suburban. Member districts range from Cherry Hill in Camden County to Woodcliff Lake in Bergen County. Volunteer members are a unique combination of parents, board of education members, and school administrators. About 350,000 children are represented by GSCS through their school districts’ volunteer membership in the coalition. The Garden State’s mission is high quality education for all children; its focus is equity and excellence, with a persevering eye on school finance. The coalition has a 18 year track record as a leading advocate for public support of public education for all children New Jersey. Recognized as a force at the state level, GSCS, is seen as a valuable resource for information and innovative thinking for New Jersey leadership


Lynne is and has been the sole full time staff to GSCS since its inception over ten years ago with 27 founding member districts. As spokesperson for GSCS Lynne leads public awareness campaigns and seeks to educate members, the public at large and the Statehouse in Trenton on school finance issues. Lynne has established a Trenton advocacy office and is recognized for her state level data and school finance analyses. ________________________________________________________________________________

  • GSCS and Lynne are synonymous with supporting quality public education for New Jersey’s suburban school districts.
  • Lynne has appeared often on television interview programs and is frequently quoted in state newspapers as a commentator on the education politics in Trenton.
  • Lynne has organized, been invited to,  and presented at many forums across the state to educate the public on the laws negative consequences. The GSCS website is chock full of information on school & legislative issues, as well as school funding data reports produced by GSCS.
  • GSCS puts together statewide forums on hot button issues of the day, such as when GSCS sponsored a unique statewide symposium on school funding  bringing in speaker Ken Hall, USC Chair/Education,  to present on the California school funding v quality public  education experience.
  • Lynne organizes a GSCS grassroots Outreach campaigns, such as one that brought together 700 people at Mount Laurel in February ’04 to heighten public awareness on the tough issues of property tax reliance v. dwindling state aid. Four regional grassroots ‘public support for public education’ meetings were held in ‘04-’05.
  • Lynne promoted the need for and served on the Governor’s Education Mandate Review Commission 2003.
  • GSCS is constant in its advocacy and data reinforcement for broadening state support for special education programs, having successfully advocated for full funding of the extraordinary aid category of special education aid for the 2003-2004 school year, an increase of 37M.
  • GSCS is widely recognized for playing the critical role in helping to secure the state funding at a minimum of 40% for school construction projects for all districts, regardless of district wealth.
  • GSCS successes began emerging clearly in the mid-nineties. e.g., In gathering 1200 people from across the state in Livingston in February 1995, GSCS served notice to state leadership of parent concerns that high quality education would be diminished by the original design of the formula when the current school funding formula [CEIFA] was under debate. GSCS won a number of important amendments to this law, including counting enrollment growth in the funding formula.


Lynne is a graduate of Skidmore College where she majored in American Government and was editor the social-economic journal. In her earlier professional days, she served as the Assistant to the Editor of the National Tax Journal, based then at the Sloan School of Management, the graduate business school at M.I.T. She has devoted over twenty-five years to public education in New Jersey. First as a parent activist and home-school president, then a school board member, and in the last eighteen years professionally through representing the Garden State Coalition of Schools. Perhaps one of the earliest of soccer Moms, Lynne was the first woman to sit on the Northern New Jersey Minolta Soccer League board of directors. Her two sons, Dave and Nick, are graduates of Tenafly High School.