Department of Corruption: The Trenton Times reports that teachers employed by the Trenton Public Schools to supply infirm students with home study overbilled the district by about $300,000. According to the report of a State Fiscal Monitor, “The district paid more than 80 instructors almost $2 million over two years for home visits…The program was rife with teachers either double billing or being paid without providing records of visits, in addition to giving lessons to ineligible students.”
Here’s the State’s official release of “The Christie Tool Kit: Putting Children First By Cutting Out-of-Classroom Costs,” which details the superintendent salary caps.
Assembly Republican Whip Dave Rible and Assemblyman Domenick DiCicco announced on Friday that they will draft legislation to cap superintendent salaries.
2% Tax Cap. 5.7% health insurance increase for schools enrolled in state plan. How to reconcile? Gloucester County News.
Just-retired Freehold Regional Superintendent James Wasser of diploma-mill fame(who just received $132,223 for unused sick and vacation time) has applied to be a substitute administrator at Long Branch Public Schools, according to the Asbury Park Press.
The Record looks at the impact of reinstalling the ability of school boards to impose “last, best offer,” one of the items in the “Christie Toolkit.”
NJ Spotlight examines how the “voucher bill” is bogged down in both Houses and, in another piece, looks at the potential effects of privatization on preschools.
The Wall St. Journal commends the Obama Administration for resisting House Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey’s campaign to cut Race To The Top funds in order to provide money to ease teacher lay-offs:
Mr. Obey and his union defenders insist that teacher layoffs will harm kids. But school districts have been adding to their payrolls for decades without regard to student enrollment and without much to show in academic improvement. Total education spending grew by 32% between 1999 and 2009, while K-12 enrollment has grown by less that 1% each year over the same time period. The reality is that districts could economize and trim the bureaucracy without having to lay off as many teachers as they claim.
Politico gives an in-depth look at the national Democratic Party’s “education debacle,” explaining how “finding $10 billion in a multitrillion-dollar budget to avert threatened teacher layoffs — months before the midterm elections — would seem a shared goal for the party. Instead, it’s produced veto threats, stalled war funding and created a destructive divide between job-hungry lawmakers and a White House anxious to burnish its business credentials at the expense of teacher unions.”
Department of Gossip: U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy is dating an Atlantic City teacher. From Politicker NJ: “if Kennedy ties the knot and settles in New Jersey, the Democratic Party scion could be a willing -and personally motivated – participant in taking up the cause of the flagging New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) troops against Gov. Chris Christie.”