Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cheistie: Let's Cap School Administrators' Pay

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today announced a new initiative in he Christie Reform Agenda -- Cutting Costs and Directing Dollars to the Classroom
The overall Christie reform agenda includes a comprehensive tool kit to provide municipalities and school districts the necessary reform measures that will allow them to keep costs low and fund priority services. The Governor's latest reform proposal caps education administrator pay and puts an end to abuses in the system.
This action has the potential to save almost $9.8 million and help ensure that the maximum amount of education funding stays in the classroom. On average, superintendents' salaries have risen over twice the rate of inflation - a nearly 46 percent increase since 2001. This is a higher increase than teacher compensation or overall education spending. The ultimate cost to New Jersey taxpayers is over $100 million.
The Christie proposal will cut out-of-classroom costs by capping school administrators' salaries and reforming how they are paid.
Bringing Salaries In-Line with District Demands
The Christie proposal brings superintendent salaries in line with district needs. Right now, superintendents in districts with over 1,000 students earn an average of $192,764, while superintendents in districts with fewer than 1,000 students earn an average of $152,764.
These salaries are out of proportion with the private sector, current economic realities and district demands. Under the current proposal, the base pay of superintendents would be capped according to a sliding scale that takes into account the student enrollment of the district(s) overseen, with an increment of $5,000 for each additional district served by a single superintendent, and an increment of $2,500 if the district(s) include(s) at least one high school.

Student Enrollment of District(s) Maximum
0 - 250 $120,000
251 - 750 $135,000
751 - 1,500 $150,000
1,501 - 3,000 $165,000
3,001 - 10,000 $175,000
Over 10,000 *

* Superintendent compensation in the sixteen districts with student enrollment over 10,000 would be subject to separate rules developed by the Department of Education.

School boards would not be permitted to increase a superintendent's base pay (for example, with longevity increases) beyond these salary caps. Additionally, no superintendent contract that includes a compensation package above these salary caps could be extended; at its expiration, the new compensation package of the superintendent would need to conform to this new policy.
According to New Jersey Department of Education data, 366 school superintendents currently earn more than the new salary cap would permit.
As with all elements of superintendent contracts, the Executive County Superintendents would review and approve superintendent salaries to ensure that they adhere to this policy.

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