Acting Commissioner of Education Rochelle Hendricks on Monday directed all executive county superintendents to conduct a review of all local school superintendent contracts and announced that until the review is complete, no contracts or contract extensions will be approved.
Hendricks’ announcement also noted that no contracts that expire after Feb. 7, 2011, when proposed pay cap regulations take effect, will be approved unless they comply with the proposed regulations.
The move was widely seen as a reaction to the announcement of a proposed contract between Dr. LeRoy Seitz, superintendent of the Parsippany-Troy Hills school district. On Nov. 9, the board of education voted 6-2 to extend Seitz’s contract for five years, with an average annual salary of $225,064. Under the proposed salary caps, Seitz’s salary would be limited to $175,000. Since the contract vote, Gov. Chris Christie has publicly criticized both the board and Dr. Seitz for the contract extension.
Parsippany Contract Not Approved On Monday, the acting commissioner’s office also released a copy of a letter from Dr. Kathleen Serafino, executive county superintendent of Morris County, to Anthony Mancuso, president of the Parsippany board, and Marlene D. Wendolowski, board secretary. The letter advises both that the executive county superintendent’s office has not approved the Seitz contract, and therefore, the board’s approval of the proposed contract was improper.
“I hereby direct the board to correct this deficiency by rescinding its approval of the proposed contract no later than December 1, 2010 and to advise me in writing when the board rescinds its approval of the proposed contract,” noted the letter.
The announcement from the Department of Education also included a link to a memo from the acting commissioner to all executive county superintendents, detailing what information should be gathered and provided to the education department during the countywide reviews of superintendent contracts.