Thursday, January 17, 2013

Superintendent Salary Cap Blamed for High Turnover Rate in New Jersey School Districts- by Lauren Wanko

“It’s has definitely changed education in New Jersey, not for the better, but for the worse,” said Eva Nagy of the Franklin Township Board of EducationIt’s been over a year and a half since the superintendent salary cap took effect in school districts across the state. Gov. Chris Christie insisted the cap was a critical aspect of education reform in New Jersey, but now a question is if the cap has negatively affected school districts. Nagy is talking about the superintendent salary cap that took effect in February 2011. Superintendent contracts are capped at $175,000 for districts with up to 10,000 students. “In terms of employment of superintendents, it has had an effect. Right now we’re seeing the largest turnover of superintendents on record,” said Deputy Executive Director of the New Jersey School Boards Association Frank Belluscio. “This past year we’ve had over 30 percent of school districts with new superintendents and a major reason has been the salary cap.”

“New Jersey schools spend a lower percentage of their budgets on school and school district administration, than the majority of other states,” Belluscio said. “New Jersey ranks 41st among the states in the percentage of their current expenses that go toward school and building administration.” The New Jersey School Boards Association says their members feel there needs to be some control in superintendent salaries but they think other factors need to be taken into account, like superintendents who take on additional responsibilities who don’t receive additional stipends for that work. Belluscio says New Jersey’s school have been controlling administrative costs without a superintendent salary cap.

For full story:

Picture: Sinatra Park, Hoboken NJ