Superintendent Charles Sampson is up for an 11.45 percent merit-based pay raise for achieving a majority of the quantitative and qualitative merit goals for the 2011-2012 school year.
Superintendents’ salaries were capped last year under Gov. Chris Christie’s school reform agenda, making Sampson’s salary $177,500. The governor capped superintendents salaries in an effort to deflate administrative earnings and keep more money in the classroom.
Under the new legislation, superintendents are eligible for merit-based pay raises. The merit goals, which are a part of the superintendent’s employment contract, are created each year by the state, according to Sampson. The different annual measures have a maximum of 14.99 percent, as per all superintendents’ contracts and every year the contract is considered for the maximum percentage allowed by law.
This year, Sampson is up for consideration for a component of that percentage based on the merit goals the district completed, meaning Sampson achieved enough goals to warrant an 11.45 percent raise, but did not attain each goal approved by the Board of Education on Feb. 27.
After the goals were approved by the Board this winter, they were sent over to the County Superintendent for approval. Now that the school year is over, Sampson had to prove which of the goals the district met.
At Monday’s Board of Education meeting, the Board adopted a resolution approving the list of merit goals accomplished by Sampson. Now, this list of goals will be sent to the County Superintendent for approval. If the County Superintendent signs off on the achievement of these goals and finalizes them, Sampson will receive $20,037.50.
The goals are separated into two categories: quantitative and qualitative. Marlboro resident Jim Sage told Sampson that he thought the qualitative goals he achieved were a function of the superintendent’s job description and should not be approved.
“It seems tantamount to pay the superintendent twice for doing his job,” Sage said.
Several other residents voiced consternation over the merit-based pay system. Gloria Close, of Manalapan, said that all of the merit goals should be folded into the superintendent’s job responsibilities.
“If you do not accomplish those goals, it’s as simple as you must leave and if you accomplish those goals then you retain your job,” Close said.
The merit goals are a component of the superintendent's cap, Sampson explained, and this new payment structure is what was changed by Christie.
"We've complied with the state requirements," said Sampson. "Period."