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

Madison Area YMCA TOGETHERHOOD Committee Enjoys Super Bowl with Cheshire Home Residents

February 18, 2018

The Madison Area YMCA’s TOGETHERHOOD committee enjoyed a Super Bowl party on game day with residents at Cheshire Home, a provider of residential and rehabilitative services to young adults with spinal cord injuries or neurological impairments. Cheshire Home is located in Florham Park.

TOGETHERHOOD, the Y’s Signature Program for Social Responsibility, empowers members to plan ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M7euCp86-c

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_486de3759baadce117d9_102482035_0

Sun, February 25, 1:00 PM

Madison

Open House at 29 Woodland Road, Madison

Real Estate

Carousel_image_6d89484cb6e69075727b_metc_2016_corner_view

Sat, March 17, 11:00 AM

Museum of Early Trades & Crafts, Madison

Can a Leprechaun Be Caught?

Arts & Entertainment Education