Editor’s note: The West Windsor-Plainsboro Board of Education was expected to review and approve a contract extension for Superintendent David Aderhold at its meeting on June 27, after our deadline.
I am very disappointed to learn that WW-P Board of Education was proposing to renew the superintendent’s contract at June’s BOE meeting, although the superintendent only needs to be notified in January 2018 of contract renewal. Such a decision, similar to many other controversial decisions including the one to hire the incumbent superintendent without an open, transparent process in the first place in 2013, is very problematic and will further, severely erode the trust of many residents have in WW-P Board of Education.
Whether the contract is to be renewed should be left to be decided upon by the WW-P Board of Education after this year’s election. I believe in this year’s election, a candidate’s stand on the superintendent’s contract renewal will have a big impact on the support he or she can get from WW-P voters.
The rumor has it that one of the excuses for an early renewal, without adequate input from the public, is that the cap on New Jersey superintendents’ salaries will be raised. I don’t quite get it. Some basic knowledge of economics I have tells me that a higher salary will stimulate the supply. I see the raise of the salary cap as a great opportunity to seek nationwide for additional qualified candidates. If the incumbent superintendent is a real strong candidate, we should give him an opportunity to prove himself, even only once, ever.
We need a board of education that can live up to its promise to maintain the high education quality of this school district, not a board that goes out of its way to please an unpopular superintendent, who has probably caused more controversies in the WW-P school district than all of the previous superintendents combined.
Let’s explore all options and leave enough time to hear from WW-P residents before making an important decision.
— Jian Lin, West Windsor
I was in disbelief when I noted that superintendent David Aderhold’s employment contract would be voted for extension with a salary increase at the Board of Education meeting on June 27, three days before the fiscal school year ends.
To me, voting now on renewing a contract expiring in a year is absolutely unreasonable for two reasons. First, since 2017-18 budget was approved in March 2017, I don’t think the superintendent’s salary increase is part of the approved budget. If the budget is going to be revised, are taxpayers going to pay more tax? Or are certain areas of spending going to be cut? It is not necessary to vote on the contract until January 2018, so voting now costs taxpayers money.
Second, voting on such an important decision while many families are on vacation does not promote community input and transparency. From June 9, the day of website announcement, to June 27, the day of voting, 18 days are not even enough to make taxpayers aware of this decision.
I urge all school board members to reconsider the timing of renewing the superintendent’s contract.
— Helen Yin, West Windsor