Embattled Newark superintendent responds to tough questions on teacher pay, building sale

By Naomi Nix | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on March 14, 2015

NEWARK -- Two months ago state lawmakers grilled Newark schools superintendent Cami Anderson about the controversial reforms in the city's school district.

The joint committee on public schools questioned the embattled superintendent on a host of issues from the district's treatment of teachers to the sale of 18th Avenue School building.

In a 35-page report, the superintendent submitted answers to their questions. Here are three of the most interesting issues brought up in the report, which was dated yesterday.

1. Teachers get paid a hefty sum even when they don't have staff jobs. Under Anderson's tenure, principals have been encouraged to use their own judgment to select teachers they want to hire for various positions. The teachers not selected by a principal are placed in the "educators without placement" pool. Those teachers can serve as substitute teachers and work throughout the district as long as they are still teaching within their designated subject. The total value of the teachers placed in the pool is $20,659,386 as of early February, according to the district's report.

2. The Barringer Academies were given extra support. The school district made headlines last year after it was discovered that both the Barringer Academy of the Arts & Humanities Scholars and the Barringer S.T.E.A.M. schools started the year with temporary student schedules, overcrowded classrooms, and vacant teacher positions. Lawmakers wanted to know how the district planned to make up for any learning loss the students may have experienced as a result of the disorganization. The district said in its report that it provided students with more instructional time after school for four days a week. Additionally, the district offered recently hired teachers and substitute teachers bi-weekly professional development opportunities.

3. District offers details about the sale of 18th Avenue School building. Some lawmakers have raised questions about the sale of the 18th Avenue School building,  speculating the superintendent may have given friends or allies a sweet deal. The district said in its report that it publicly advertised the sale of the building for two weeks and then after negotiations accepted the only entity that offered to buy it: Friends of Team Academy, a non-profit working with KIPP New Jersey.


Click on the link below to read Cami Anderson's complete response to lawmaker's questions

JCPS Response_Final (3) 

Do you like this post?

Be the first to comment