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Ramsey BOE Opposes Superintendent Pay Caps, Joining Ridgewood

Ramsey school officials say caps on school superintendent pay has created an "educational leadership crisis"

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.

BergenCo GOPer April 03, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Hey Patch - call around to your counterparts in Morris, Hunterdon, Somerset, Monmouth, Ocean - a ton of districts already passed this same resolution. Sounds like Governor Christie might have some difficulty retaining the same percentage of votes in those areas that he received in 09. Sounds like a developing story...
Ramsey Albert April 03, 2013 at 08:58 PM
Count me in as one Ramsey resident that voted for Christie in 09 that will vote for Buono in 13. First time I have ever voted for a Dem, by the way. Our district is screwed by this cap. Wake up Governor Christie!
Boyd A. Loving April 03, 2013 at 10:37 PM
According to DeYoung, the interim Ramsey superintendent, only 13 hopefuls applied for the job to be Ramsey’s next permanent schools leader. The board’s superintendent search committee called in five applicants that it “quickly narrowed down to two,” he said. So what is the big deal? Ramsey has identified 2 suitable applicants for the superintendent's position from an initial pool of 13. Am I missing something here? And the Ridgewood BOE doesn't think that $167,500 plus perks is a decent salary? Give me a break. There are no currency printing presses in the basements of Ridgewood taxpayers' homes - let's get real ladies and gentlemen. Enough is enough. These supers have got to stop being greedy and accept the new norm with respect to salaries.
Mike Kender April 04, 2013 at 02:05 AM
The cap is a stupid publicity stunt. If Governor Christie was really serious about it, he would cap all public sector employees at $175K, including police chiefs, fire chiefs, university presidents, professors, and Rutgers coaches. The fact that he hasn't proves the absurdity of singling out the school superintendents. In Ridgewood, the superintendent oversees a budget of more than $80 million per year. Paying someone $200K/year for that job is perfectly reasonable. It is more reasonable than paying $105K/year for gym teachers and $80 per hour ($160K/year equivalent) for officers to sit in their cars at construction sites.
jp1 April 04, 2013 at 12:27 PM
None of the fat mans business what people want to pay there school chiefs. If he is so concerned then why not cut the salary of Rutgers football coach he is not worth two million a year plus housing at taxpayer expense.
RidgewoodJohn April 04, 2013 at 04:28 PM
I think a Superintendent that manages a $90m budget, supervises 1000 employees, deals with 10,000 parents and, oh yeah, is also responsible for 5,000 children is well deserving of a $250k salary. Let's be real people, in the private sector - that leadership profile is worth well more than a quarter mil.
RB April 04, 2013 at 06:24 PM
I agree, the Superintendent of our school system that has a $90m budget and all the responsibilities that go along with it is deserving of a $250k salary. Let's get real here people. Boyd- stop whining. We're not living in Disneyland. This is the real world.
Boyd A. Loving April 04, 2013 at 09:10 PM
Excuse me? You're the one living in Disneyland. Take a look around; declining property values, reduced income levels - where do you expect the money to come from?
Ridgewood Mom April 05, 2013 at 12:20 PM
How about capping CEO pay and investment income? $175,000 does not even approach the higher tax levels debated in congress during last New Year's fiasco.
Ridgewood Mom April 05, 2013 at 12:51 PM
I disagree about it being more reasonable to pay a superintendent $200K per year then to pay a gym teacher $105K per year. Why should a superintendent make so much more then a teacher? I agree about this being a publicity stunt by Christie. Christie has a son at Delbarton. How much do you think the headmaster of Delbarton makes? I can assure you that it is well above the superintendent cap. Cutting schools, as such, to save only a couple of bucks on taxes (which disproportionately aid the wealthiest) means having lower quality schools across the state. It is the height of hypocrisy to preach such frugality for others whilst simultaneously indulging in all of the extras for oneself. What this exposes is that Christie does not care so much about the quality of New Jersey's schools, and that he would be more then satisfied in throwing them under the bus just to put more money in the pockets of himself and the richest persons in the state.
Fan of Ridgewood June 07, 2013 at 03:00 AM
CEOs arent paid by tax payers. Ridgewood Mom, please provide your real name and your affiliation with the teacher's union.
Ridgewood Mom June 07, 2013 at 10:30 AM
Who does pay CEOs Bill, and where does that money come from?
Ridgewood Mom June 07, 2013 at 12:27 PM
It looks like we need to work on getting some people past this simplistic false dichotomy between private vs public sector work. There is no wall that demarcates the two. Do public schools buy their textbooks from public or private companies? Where does the money to buy those textbooks come from? Who builds the school buildings, public builders or contracted workers? Do parents in more affluent public school districts effect educational outcomes in those public schools via private contributions? Is educational policy in public schools effected by private organizations and even individuals? Do teachers from public schools sometimes take jobs in private schools and vice versa? Did those teachers receive their training in public or private universities? Do superintendents in public schools sometimes take jobs in private schools and vice versa? You are either a productive and contributing member of society, and are deserving of a salary commensurate to that contribution, or you aren't. If you want to get on a particular teacher or superintendent for taking more then their fair share, then show how that particular teacher or superintendent is not pulling their weight. If they are pulling their weight, or more, it makes no sense to think that their salary should be lower simply because they work in a public, as opposed to private, sector. Its the same market.
Fan of Ridgewood June 07, 2013 at 03:01 PM
CEOs are not paid through voluntary purchases of consumers, not mandatory taxes. In government, particularly a unionized position, you can spend an entire carreer being unproductive. Again, Ridgewood Mom, please disclose your name and your affiliation with the teachers union.
Ridgewood Mom June 07, 2013 at 03:33 PM
I have told you before, Bill, that I have no affiliation with any union or any public school whatsoever, apart from having two kids in public schools. I am an at home mother who works part time, entirely in what you would call the "private sector." I know that you don't think much of mothers who spend time with their kids, but since my income comes from non-public sources, I guess I can rest assured that you consider my income as self justifying, no matter how much it is nor what it is that I do.
Fan of Ridgewood June 07, 2013 at 09:23 PM
I dont have a problem with a mom being their kids. Nice twist of words. But a stay at home parent has very little standing in speaking on outside world applications. Regarding your claim that youre not affiliated with the teachers union is hard to believe given your constant postings supporting them, the occasional disdain you've shown for Ridgewood students, who you've referred to as "little spoiled darlings". So, i dont believe you. Give us your name and boost your credibility.

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