State Senate cracks down on school administrator pay
State Senators have voted to crack down on bogus degrees and golden parachutes, two issues New Jersey school administrators had recently come under fire for.
Freehold superintendent James Wasser and former Keansburg superintendent Barbara Trzeszkowski made headlines earlier this year due to their salaries.
Wasser used a degree from Breyer State University, an unlicensed diploma mill, to qualify for a taxpayer-funded raise. Trzeszkowski retired and cashed in $740,000 of unused sick and vacation time on top of a six-figure pension.
A bill was passed unanimously Thursday that requires a B-average from an accredited school to qualify for reimbursement or pay raises. Additionally, school tuition cannot cost more than it would at Rutgers.
Senators also voted to eliminate all retirement bonuses and limit payments for unused sick and vacation time. The legislation also adds requirements for school employees seeking raises through further education.
Lawmakers across the aisle say these are necessary moves for New Jersey.
"It is a no-brainer," says Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-12th District). "It is shocking that we even need this law. But unfortunately, we do."
"It's absolutely essential that we start holding school boards accountable so they will not be able to give these golden parachutes to school administrators," says Sen. Shirley Turner (D-15th District).
The golden parachute bill now goes to Gov. Jon Corzine to sign into law. The diploma mill legislation is only halfway there, but is not expected to have trouble passing the House due to this unanimous vote.
Freehold administrators use phony degrees for raises Keansburg super set to retire with six-figure payday I-Team Investigates: Superintendent Severance