Education

Madison Residents Challenge Board of Education to Consider Sharing a Superintendent With Neighboring Town

8f7149bfa80f33870704_madisonboard.jpg
The Madison Board of Education in discussion on Tuesday, December 21.
8f7149bfa80f33870704_madisonboard.jpg

MADISON, NJ – Town residents challenged the Madison Board of Education Tuesday night to consider sharing a superintendent with a neighboring town as a way to address the state imposed salary cap issue.

“Can someone please explain to me what the cons are if we have a shared superintendent?,” asked Madison resident Karen Szotak at the board's meeting on Tuesday at the Madison High School Media Center.

In July, Governor Chris Christie imposed a salary cap on superintendents’ salaries that would limit pay to $175,000 for top officials with more than 10,000 students as a way of addressing the state budget shortfall.  The Madison school system educates around 2,400 students.

Sign Up for E-News

There has been nothing short of upheaval ever since, with school boards across the state scrambling to compensate for suddenly retiring sitting superintendents and budget constraints of their own.

Madison is an example of the upheaval. Its former superintendent, Richard Noonan, whose annual salary was $288,000 decided to retire in October for a similar role in Pennsylvania rather than take what would have been more than a $50,000 pay cut.

Board member Dale Arthur said a shared superintendent “looks like a great way to save money but for every reason there is to do it, there’s a reason not to do it.  The harder decision, however, is making the correct call (on the right candidate). ”

Two of the town's names bandied about as possible partners in a shared superintendent situation were Harding Township or perhaps the Chathams. Arthur said Harding was not interested, although talks were continuing with Harding Board of Education President James Novotny, who represents Harding as member of the Madison board.

“If we don’t have a superintendent (for Madison) there are things that will not get done,” Novotny said. “Great things took place when we had a superintendent here. Having someone in the district, moving things forward – somebody needs to be there doing that. If you split him, I think it’s a step back.”

The board has just begun the hiring process to find a new superintendent. As part of the interview process, candidates have been asked for their opinion on a superintendent shared among two or more towns.

“Not a single one thought though that a shared superintendent would be a slam dunk.  They all said there would be issues that would need to be addressed,” said board member Pat Rowe, “although none of them said it was impossible.”

“Nothing is ever off the table in this tough economic environment," said Board President Lisa Ellis said. “A lot would have to evolve, the person will have to be willing, and their board would have to decide what’s best for their district.” 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Madison

DAWN of a New Day: New Treatment Insights Shared at Atlantic Health's 18th Annual Stroke Symposium

May 21, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ – Time is of the essence when it comes to identifying and treating symptoms of stroke. It’s widely accepted that the sooner treatment is provided, the better the outcome will be. However, new research suggests that all hope isn’t lost for certain types of stroke victims whose symptoms aren't treated until later in time after last being seen as ...

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

A 'Gold Card' for Morris County Parents, Guardians of Killed Military

May 18, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ – Morris County Clerk Ann Grossi today announced the launch of the "Gold Star Parent ID Card Program" that allows Morris County parents, legal guardians or other legal custodians of members of the military who died while on active duty to access certain benefits, such as discounts extended to military families.

"Gold Star Parents can now ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!