Another Bergen County school district has joined Ridgewood in vocally opposing the pay caps New Jersey Governor Chris Christie placed on schools superintendents.
Christie's stipulation holds that superintendents . Their salaries would be tiered based upon district size, with potential "bonuses" for meeting performance goals.
Ramsey school officials last week passed a resolution denouncing the state law – passed in 2010 – on the basis it not only prompted its former superintendent to leave for New York, but has further strained efforts to replace him.
“There is an educational leadership crisis in this state,” Interim Superintendent Bruce DeYoung, a retired Ramsey Superintendent who returned to the district for a one-year interim spot last July, said last Wednesday.
Ridgewood made waves earlier this school year, pressing Trenton lawmakers to reconsider the hard caps. It separately passed a resolution asking the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) to study of the impact of the salary caps on recruiting, hiring, and retention of superintendents.
Ridgewood's own superintendent, Dan Fishbein, will see his contract expire at the end of the school year. Both sides have expressed interest in the award-winning administrator staying in his hometown, but he'd have to stomach a to stick around. Ridgewood can only offer $167,500 to its chief school administrator.
Although neighbor Glen Rock recently found a qualified superintendent, finding one in Ramsey has proven no easy task thus far.
According to DeYoung, the interim Ramsey superintendent, only 13 hopefuls applied for the job to be Ramsey’s next permanent schools leader. “We get 90 applications for an elementary teaching position,” he said.
Of those 13 applications, DeYoung said half were not qualified to be called in for interviews. The board’s superintendent search committee called in five applicants that it “quickly narrowed down to two,” he said.
The superintendent caps sunset in November of 2016.
Jessica Mazzola contributed to this report.