A month after being honored on the floor of the state Senate, New Jersey’s school superintendent of the year is headed to New York, another consequence of the Christie administration’s cap on school administration salaries.
Roy Montesano, the superintendent of Ramsey schools, was expected to be formally approved last night as the next superintendent in Hastings, NY, right over the Tappan Zee Bridge. The district put out a release last week announcing the hire
Montesano, a 30-plus year educator in New Jersey schools, yesterday was careful to say the caps didn’t force him over the border, but he said they were certainly a factor in his decision to leave the state.
“With what is coming out of Trenton, it is forcing some of us to consider other options,” Montesano said in an interview. “It has opened us up to other opportunities.”
In Hastings, he will earn $235,000, according to the New York district. In Ramsey, Montesano now makes $226,000, he said, but under the new salary caps, that would have gone down to $167,500 when his current contract expires in two years.
Montesano, part of a family of four brothers who were each New Jersey superintendents, said the prospect of a 30-percent pay cut with a child off to college was difficult to manage. “The math doesn’t add up well,” he said.
He’s not the only superintendent to depart. Montesano’s brother Jim also left New Jersey schools, where he was last the superintendent in Paramus, to become superintendent in Nyack, N.Y. And New Jersey superintendents are retiring or leaving the state at nearly double the rate since the caps were put in place at the start of last year. “I’m sure there will be more of us,” Montesano said.In Christie's world, if Montesano doesn't give up $67,500, he's a greedy SOB who doesn't really care about kids. Because Christie and Christie alone knows what a superintendent should make, and labor market pressures can go take a flying leap.
By the way, the cap was never about saving money: it was always the first step in reducing teacher salaries. New Jersey has paid teachers less than New York for some time now, even as teacher salaries in Jersey haven't kept pace with the rest of the labor market (it's all here). Simple economics - which Christie apparently knows nothing about - dictate people will go where they can get paid more for their skills.
For a guy who goes on and on about how important it is to have good teachers, Christie has never shown the slightest understanding of the phrase "you get what you pay for." He believes the government should intercede and attempt to disrupt the labor market. Where have we seen this type of thinking before?
The Politburo shall determine your teachers' salaries, young Boris...