Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fordham's Flypaper Weighs in on Superintendent Caps

Jamie Davies O’Leary:

My initial reaction to this story [on Christie's plan to cap superintendent salaries], other than choking on my chocolate-covered soy nuts when I read that the Camden Schools chief makes $239K (!!)– was that maybe salary caps are a good idea in places like New Jersey, where corruption in public education makes the dysfunction of Jersey Shore look like a children’s show. There was a bit of a back-and-forth in the world of Fordham email, something like this:

Terry: Markets work on this front and I don’t like the idea of caps.

Me: Maybe I’m too hooked to the storyline of The Cartel, but some supes in NJ make in the $400s and this is just ridiculous! It’s public money.

Terry: Is the best way to address this a cap for all supers no matter the challenges? I’ll admit $400k seems ridiculous but do taxpayers vote for these salaries locally? I’m having trouble with the idea of the state setting the market value for district leaders.

Me: Yes… but when you have salaries this ludicrous some kind of measure (maybe not a cap) seems necessary. Set an initial cap and then give $75K or $100K in bonuses contingent on results.

Terry: Make cuts to the districts and then let the supers explain their salaries during times of cuts to the overall system.

1 comment:

kallikak said...

Not a lot of insight here.

When is anyone going to address the likely compositional change of those entering the teaching trade in NJ when the realization sets in that lifetime total compensation--on a present-value or nominal basis--has been drastically reduced?

The Governor clearly doesn't care--he's on his way to Washington--but the rest of us should.