“So What” Moment? Buono Chooses a Woman for LGJuly 26, 2013
Could Christie’s Education Agenda Be Swept in On His Coattails?July 30, 2013
The Record checks out inaccuracies in ads by Christie and Buono, contenders for governor. According to its analysis, Buono misspoke about state school aid by accusing the Governor of “woefully underfunding” school districts. But, deems The Record, “that statement came out as Christie was pushing a now-passed $33 billion state budget that increased state spending on K-12 education to a record $12 billion, including $7.8 billion in direct state aid to local school districts.” In turn, Christie’s campaign is mightily trying to link Buono to Jon Corzine and what it alleges is profligate spending. “ But,” says the paper,”during the two years that Buono led the Senate’s budget panel while Corzine was in office, state spending actually went down, something the Christie ad does not state.”
Hopewell Superintendent Thomas Smith, reports the Trenton Times, has just signed a contract to continue his gig in his Mercer County district in spite of a cut in salary from $181,927 to $167,500, the cap for a district Hopewell’s size. Smith will be eligible to earn merit-based bonuses that could bring his salary back up to its previous level. Earlier this year superintendents in nearby Princeton and West Windsor left for greener pastures because of mandated salary caps.
And NJ Spotlight reports that former Parsippany-Troy Hills superintendent Leroy Seitz, who has fought the State for two years over his $225K salary, will have to return $17,500 to the school district.
Also see NJ Spotlight for its report on NJ’s very first conversion of a parochial school to a charter school. Once St. Philip’s Academy in Newark, the new public school is called Philip’s Academy Charter School.
In today’s Star Ledger, Jonathan E. Lazarus reviews a new book, “Courting Justice: 10 New Jersey Cases that Shook the Nation.” The book is edited by Paul Tractenberg, a founder of the Education Law Center which litigated NJ’s Abbott cases before the Supreme Court and dramatically changed the way we fund poor urban districts. Abbott, in fact, is one of those “cases that shook the nation.”
Camden Public Schools, under new state control, has just awarded a one-year $150K contract to the Antares Group to address “staffing, curriculum, professional development, and other issues ini the district,” according to the Courier Post. Antares is run by Mindy Propper, who was formerly employed by KIPP.
In other Camden news, former interim Superintendent Reuben Mills has resigned from his new position as “senior advisor to the superintendent,” new interim Peggy Nicolosi. Word is that he has other job offers and is not on anyone’s list for the permanent Camden superintendency. From the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Whoever takes the job will get a district that is shrinking as charter schools compete for the city’s 16,000 students. On Friday, the state Department of Education announced two more charters will open this fall, bringing the number to 11, educating 4,000 students.
The new superintendent also will have to work with the local Regional Achievement Center, one of seven established last year when New Jersey received a No Child Left Behind waiver.
From an Assembly Democrats press release: “Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon) on Thursday called on Governor Christie to turn his attention to the utter state of disrepair at Trenton Central High School (TCHS) and put an end to the continual feet-dragging by the Schools Development Authority (SDA), which has left the safety of students in jeopardy.”