A perfect example why these school budgets keep going up. It’s not to educate our children – it’s to pay these guys..
Epps’ pay would climb to $275G in 3 years
Jersey City Superintendent of Schools Charles T. Epps Jr. is expected to ink a new three-year deal this week that will pay him $252,000 a year starting July 1, bump him up to $260,000 next year, and pay $275,000 the third year, according to persons familiar with the negotiations.
The agreement represents a roughly 4 percent hike for the 63-year-old schools chief who’s been hauling down nearly $242,000 a year, including his $1,000 a month housing allowance, for running the state’s second-largest school system.
“I think that’s kind of a lot of money, while teachers go underpaid,” School 11 parent Frank Ramos said about Epps’s anticipated pay raise. adding: “I didn’t even know he was the superintendent.”
No school official would confirm the new salary figures, and through his spokesman, Epps would only say, “There is no finalized contract as yet.”
A public hearing on the new pact is scheduled for Thursday, 5 p.m. at School 11, 886 Bergen Ave., when the attorney who negotiated the deal on behalf of the school board is expected to make a presentation.
Even before the anticipated raise, Epps was one of the highest-paid public officials in Hudson County, out-earning both Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy ($118,000) and Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise ($133,000).
But compared to other superintendents, Epps’s deal represents the going rate. For example, the superintendent of Newark – Marion A. Bolden – makes $270,000 a year.
And West New York’s schools chief Robert Van Zanten is paid $231,000 a year to run a 7,000-student district that is less than a quarter of the size of the Jersey City school district, which has 30,000 students. Union City’s schools boss Stanley Sanger is paid $202,000 a year in a district with 11,000 students. North Bergen Superintendent Robert Dandorph earns $198,000 a year for running a 8,000-student system.
“This is one position throughout the nation that has been able to command these kind of salaries,” said Mike Yaple, spokesman for the New Jersey School Boards Association, which is also a headhunter for school bosses.
“Around 1990, the typical support search yielded 100 applications,” Yaple said. “Now if we get one or two dozen, you are doing well.”
As teacher salaries rise, administrative and superintendent jobs become less attractive, he said.
Besides, Yaple added, superintendents don’t get summers off.