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Trenton Leadership Concurs with NJASA on Salary Cap Amendments

 Chief Education Officer

It’s a green light for NJASA’s continual efforts to amend the constraints of the salary cap regulations for school superintendents, who are the district chief education officers.  Kimberley Harrington, Acting Education Commissioner, today filed a proposal to modify the salary limits for school superintendents established more than five years ago.

NJASA Executive Director Dr. Richard Bozza said, "NJASA is pleased that the Governor and Education Commissioner have recognized the critical importance that chief education officers have in influencing a child’s achievement."

Dr. Bozza added, "These proposed amendments are a step in the right direction to correct the negative consequences experienced as a result of the current policy.  School district leaders have retired early or left the Garden State to work in neighboring states. The current policy created a powerful disincentive for aspiring superintendents to seek a position in New Jersey and resulted in talented leaders opting to remain in other administrative positions rather than losing compensation."

NJASA Executive Director Dr. Bozza noted, "NJASA strongly believes school district superintendent contracts and compensation are a local issue. Locally elected boards of education are charged with defining compensation for all school employees. They are the voice of their constituents.  With state imposed limits on overall administrative spending and annual tax increases, there is no need for additional rules for school boards when negotiating with their superintendent and other administrative employees."   In addition, school district contracts for all superintendents must be reviewed and approved by the Department of Education, maintaining state oversight of this aspect of school board decision making.

The proposed rules call for fewer compensation categories defined by student enrollment, an increase to the maximum salaries by enrollment range; incentives to retain chief education officers longer in their school district;  additional compensation when a school superintendent serves in more than one administrative role; and increases to the stipend for chief education officers overseeing more than one school district. 

Dr. Bozza commented, "While this proposal is not the final action needed to remove the disincentives for communities to employ and maintain effective leaders in their school system, it recognizes and mitigates the negative consequences of the existing policy, thereby benefiting students by expanding the pool of well-qualified candidates for the most important district leadership position impacting every aspect of school district operation."