ROXBURY, NJ — (Updated at 3 p.m. on 7/22) Roxbury Schools Superintendent Loretta Radulic this week was granted a new, 5-year-long contract that pays her an initial salary of $235,184.
The new agreement replaces a prior contract that was supposed to remain in effect for another two years.
“As I'm sure you are aware, the superintendent cap was lifted a year ago,” said Roxbury Schools Business Administrator Joseph Mondanaro in an email. “Many superintendents across the state have renegotiated their contracts.”
Radulic’s new contract was granted by the Roxbury School Board at its virtual meeting on Monday night. There was no public discussion or explanation about the matter, and while the public was invited to comment during the virtual meeting, nobody did.
"I opened it up for public and board comments and questions," said Roxbury School Board President Carol Scheneck today in an email. "There were none."
At the meeting, Scheneck recused herself from voting on the contract due to a conflict of interest because her brother, Matthew, is a Roxbury teacher.
Mondanaro noted that, while Radulic got a salary increase, the new deal removed "merit goal" bonuses.
"Her current base salary was $200,516 with merit goals totaling $30,057, equaling $230,573," he said. "Her newly approved salary is $235,185, no merit goals."
Mondanaro also said the new contract stands to save the district $20,000 over the course of the five years in tuition reimbursements paid to Radulic. The prior pact called for tuition reimbursement of $50,000 while the new one calls for $30,000 in reimbursement.
“Loretta's newly renegotiated contract was based on exemplary performance evaluations,” Mondanaro said. “Her new contract will have no merit goals.”
Radulic’s prior contract, signed in June 2017, was to expire in 2022. It called for the superintendent to be paid $196,508 per year through the 2018-2019 school year and increase by 2 percent each year afterward.
The new contract has a similar structure, with Radulic standing to be paid 2 percent more per year starting with the 2021-2022 school year.
Radulic, who was assistant superintendent since July 2012, has been Roxbury’s school superintendent since January 2016 when she replaced former superintendent Patrick Tierney who took a job in Jefferson. Her initial salary was $167,500.
The approval of Radulic’s new contract comes a year after Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill that removed the $191,584 base salary cap on school superintendents imposed in 2017 by former Gov. Chris Christie. The prior law provided wages above that cap as incentives to superintendents that chose to stay in one district instead of continually looking for better paying positions elsewhere.
Radulic’s new contract comes at a time when state aid to the district is disappearing. In discussing the district’s new $81.5 million budget – adopted in late April – Mondanaro noted Roxbury lost about $1.56 million in state aid and is projected to lose more than $6 million over the next five years.
The school budget, the biggest part of Roxbury property taxes, called for a slight tax increase. The estimated school tax rate is $1.708 per $100 of a property’s assessed valuation.
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