Senator Mike Doherty (R-23), a member of the Senate Education Committee, opposed the committee’s approval of legislation (S-692) that would hurt property taxpayers by prohibiting the New Jersey Department of Education from regulating the maximum salaries for school district superintendents.
“The superintendent salary caps imposed in 2011 were part of the successful effort to slow the out-of-control property tax growth that occurred during the McGreevey and Corzine administrations,” said Doherty. “It’s concerning that one of our first actions with Phil Murphy as Governor is an effort to undo an effective policy that worked to control property taxes. We shouldn’t remove this important protection for taxpayers.”
The policy enacted in 2011 set caps on the salaries that could be offered to superintendents depending on the size of the district, with maximum salaries ranging from $125,000 to $175,000.
The caps were updated in 2017, with the allowable maximum salaries increasing to $147,794 for the smallest districts and to $191,584 for the largest.
Doherty noted that the salary for the Governor of New Jersey is currently $175,000.
“There’s no public-sector job in New Jersey that is more difficult and demanding than that of the Governor, and nobody should be paid more,” added Doherty. “In the case of superintendents, we haven’t had any trouble finding competent, willing people to serve in these roles with the salary cap in place. There’s no demonstrated need for this bill.”
Doherty sponsored legislation in the prior legislative session (S-570) that would prevent any public employee at any level of government from making more than the Governor. That legislation is pending reintroduction in the 2018-2019 session.