Bill Would Eliminate Superintendents' Salary Cap

Feb 6, 2017

Senate Education Committee
Credit Phil Gregory

A New Jersey Senate committee has advanced legislation prohibiting the state Department of Education from limiting what a school district can pay its superintendent.

Senate Education committee chairwoman Teresa Ruiz says a salary cap that took effect in 2011 was intended to save money but has kept school districts from getting the best people.

"I think it's the responsibility of the district if they have funding in their budget to make their decision on hiring someone who is capable and that won't necessarily at some point make less than perhaps a sitting principal."

Jonathan Pushman with the New Jersey School Boards Association says the limit is a misguided and ill-conceived public policy and should be eliminated.

"It's time that we return control over personnel decisions back to where it belongs and that's in the hands of duly elected local school board members."

Senator Mike Doherty says superintendents who want to make more money should consider getting a job in the private sector.

"We're talking about folks making five times as much as the average person in New Jersey. That's not enough money?"

The Christie administration favors increasing the maximum limit of $175,000  that school chiefs can be paid.