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Gloucester City School Superintendent Joseph Rafferty Receives $5,602 Raise; Other School Administrators Also Receive Pay Increase

 

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UPDATE: 

We had several people who wanted to know the names of the Board members who voted for or against the recent pay raises for the administrators and school superintendent. Below is the recorded vote provided to us by the School Board Business Administrator. There were no NAY votes recorded. 

Administrators (June 9 meeting)                               School Supt. (June 23 meeting)

 

 Robert Bennett—    Abstain        …………………………….       Abstain

Linda Bittman—       Yes……………………………………….         Yes

Jacqueline Borger— Yes……………………………………              Yes

Stephanie Cohan—  Abstain…………………………………         Abstain

Richard Dolson—    Abstain………………………………….         Absent

Patrick Hagan —      Absent…………………………………..          Yes

Edward Hubbs —     Yes………………………………………            Yes

Bill Johnson ——-    Yes………………………………………             Absent

Bruce Marks——      Abstain…………………………………..           Abstain

Tracy Farrow—         Yes……………………………………….             Yes

 

CNB Note: After looking at the list of school district employees we noticed that some of those Board member who abstain are either an employee of the school district or have a member of their family working in the school district. 

We also received a number of comments on this article that appear on our Facebook page. Here are just a few of them.

  • Who the school board president he should be ashame for even voting on this knowing gloucester is low income city i think the school board should be investicated for why the school dist budget was short $5,million
  •  
    Bob Birney Jr. Laying off teachers/aides, discontinuing bus service, all to budget costs right? I don't see this as a necessity compared to the previous mentioned things.. crooked politics as per usual, no surprise in this town..
    Like · Reply · 1 · Yesterday at 7:52pm · Edited
  •  
    Sandy Adams seriously?????? Didnt they just do a budget cut, cutting out all after school programs and no more busing?
  •  
    Gary Watermasysk Needed to cut bussing so administration could get big raises , they care more about themselves than the kids.
  •  
    Holly McDonald Amazing. After ridding the district of busses. Nice.

 

 

  

by William E. Cleary Sr.

 

GLOUCESTER CITY NJ (CNBNEWSNET)—The Gloucester City Board of Education at a special 6a00d8341bf7d953ef019afff9d462970d-320wimeeting on June 23 approved a three-year renewal contract for Superintendent Joseph P. Rafferty.  The contract runs from July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2018.  

As a result of the new agreement, Rafferty’s salary increased to $157,500 or $5,602 more than his previous salary of $151,898.  Rafferty was hired in 2012 at a salary of $146,000 plus benefits.  He replaced Paul Spaventa who was receiving a salary of  $162,000 at the time.

 

6a00d8341bf7d953ef0192abded29b970d-800wiThe contract calls for the Superintendent to receive a merit bonus in addition to his annual base salary and benefits. The merit bonus will be based upon his achievement of a quantitative merit criterion and/or qualitative merit criterion. Commencing with the 2016-17 school year, the Board and Superintendent may select up to three quantitative merit criteria and up to two qualitative merit criteria per contract year.  The Superintendent shall receive a merit bonus in the amount up to 2 percent of his annual base salary for each merit achieved. 

Superintendent salaries across the state were capped in 2011 and were based on student enrollment. The merit system for superintendents was also established at that time.  On Monday, May 18, 2015, the full Senate approved legislation that would eliminate the state-imposed superintendent salary cap. The legislation, S-1987, sponsored by Senators M. Teresa Ruiz and Paul Sarlo, would overturn state Department of Education regulations that restrict the maximum salary amount that a school district could pay its superintendent of schools.  The New Jersey School Board Association strongly supports the measure and has actively advocated for its passage.  According to NJSBA research, the cap has been a major factor in superintendent turnover and has resulted in a decrease in experience levels of superintendent candidates. The association claims the situation will likely worsen when a large number of superintendent contracts expire in 2015-2016.

Besides giving the superintendent a raise the Board recently increased the salaries of the following administrators for the upcoming fiscal year: 

 

Administrator       Position                  2014-15  salary           2015-16 salary

Elizabeth Curry      Director of C&I —       $131,359               $134,118

Joseph DiPartri      Guidance                    96,606                     98,635

Victoria Ernst        Vice-Principal            109,577                     111,878

 Sarah Foley         Vice-Principal            90,000                         91,890

Pat Gismonde      Vice-Principal             105,316                     105,316

Sean Gorman      Principal                     114,000                     116,394

Norma Gurcsik     Dir. Pre School           91,800                         93,728

Janet Kauffman    Dir. Technology          100,539                      102,650

*John Kenney        Dir. Facilities             122,495                      122,495

Karen Kessler       Principal                    117,300                      119,763

Kristen Little         Vice-Principal             91,800                        93,728

Nina Longer     Dir. Special Programs      152,250                      155,450

Robert MacCausland Vice-Principal          108,257                      110,530

William O’Kane       Principal                   116,440                      118,885

Margaret McDonnell Bus. Administrator   143,975                       147,000

_______________________________________________________________ 

Subtotal                                              1,577,827            1,722,460

Rafferty’s salary                                     151,898                157,500

TOTAL                                               $ 1,729,725          $ 1,879,960

 *unsettled

In April School Board member William Johnson Jr., a member of the Finance Committee, said the district had a $5 million deficit. He said that amount has been reduced some as the district used several million from the budget reserve. Johnson said even so the remaining deficit is still high.

Johnson said, “For the last three or four years the amount of money the district receives from the state has remained flat, at $30 million. Because we are a **Abbott District, the state mandates certain programs. Some of the programs they fund, but there are others that we are required to keep that they don’t fund. That is one of the reasons we are facing a deficit.” 

Johnson said he was concerned about future deficits and mentioned the operating costs for the new Middle School.

“We have been told several times by Facilities Director John Kenney to expect it to cost approximately $500,000 annually to maintain it. We have such a large deficit now how will we pay an additional $500,000 in the future? ”

 Construction of the $87.5 million school started this month and is expected to be finished by September 2017.  The 122,000 square foot facility will be used to educate 687 students in grades 4 through 8. The original amount budgeted by the SDA for the construction of the school was $76 million. (See Project Description HERE)

At the April 21 Board of Education meeting, Rafferty announced that 30 employees were going to be laid off plus a number of programs were going to be cut to make up for a $3.5 million deficit. 

The most recent data released  by the State Department of Education reveals the average spending per student in New Jersey school districts was $19,000 in 2013-14, up slightly from the year before. The same report discloses the cost of educating a student in Gloucester City Public Schools was $23,680 and an increase of $500 over the previous fiscal year. In comparison Haddonfield taxpayers paid $14,906 per student, Collingswood  taxpayers paid $19,041 per student, Audubon paid $18,166 per student, Camden City $26,998.

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