SPOTSWOOD – At an appearance in Spotswood yesterday, Gov. Chris Christie proposed cutting school superintendents’ salaries to help taxpayers save money.
“While families and school districts across the state cope with fewer resources and continued fiscal challenges, many school administrators continue to receive salaries that are out of proportion with the private sector and current economic realities,” said Christie. “It is our responsibility, in state government and at the local level, to act in every possible way to ensure that as many education dollars remain in the classroom as possible.”
Under the governor’s proposal, the maximum base salary that a district could pay a superintendent would rise with the size of the school district. The top salary for the superintendent of a K-8 district with fewer than 250 students would be $120,000. From there, salary maximums would gradually step up with the size of the school district to the point that the superintendent of a district with up to 10,000 students could be paid a maximum of $175,000. A superintendent in one of New Jersey’s 16 districts with more than 10,000 students could earn a higher base salary.
In addition, administrator compensation would be restructured to provide the opportunity for non-pensionable, individual year merit stipends if superintendents achieve significant, state-defined improvements in student learning from the year before.
Education Commissioner Bret Schundler discussed the plan with the New Jersey Board of Education in a conference call Thursday morning and he will propose regulations to implement the Christie Administration’s plan for governing salaries awarded to superintendents, assistant superintendents and business administrators.
“Especially in smaller communities like Spotswood, we can make a real difference by making sure taxpayer dollars go where they are needed most – to the classroom to help students learn,” Schundler said. “At a time when every dollar is precious, we must bring school administrators’ salaries back into the real world, where taxpayers continue to struggle every day to make ends meet.”
According to data provided by the New Jersey Department of Education, 366 school district superintendents are currently being paid more than the new regulations would permit. Once their salaries were brought down to the maximum levels proposed, the state would save $9.8 million a year. The mean savings for each school district would be less than $27,000 per year.
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