Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande said today that the recent decision of the Freehold Regional High School District to create a new position in the district for Superintendent H. James Wasser after he resigns in June highlights the need for the Assembly to pass several pieces of legislation she has sponsored in order to cap unnecessary school spending.
“At a time when property taxes continue to force more and more people from their homes and from the state, and with the school portion the largest part of the property tax bill, it is imperative that we ensure school boards are spending taxpayer money as frugally as possible”, said Casagrande. “ We can no longer afford to give public employees five and six figure going away presents at retirement or have $200,000 make-work jobs.”
Casagrande is the prime sponsor of A-3185, which would have the Department of Education create a template contract for superintendents, and require the approval of Education Commissioner to make an y changes to the contract. She is also the sponsor of A-2583, which would limit payments for accumulated sick leave to $10,000 and broaden the scope of state and local employees covered by the bill.
Casagrande called the board’s decision to move Wasser to his new position the lesser of two evils and said “ If we’re required to pay him until 2011, I’d certainly rather have him working for the district rather than sitting home collecting a check. My point is, that in the future if a board feels there is a genuine reason to fire someone- and I would argue that despite the opinion of some former and current board members, benefiting from a degree from an unaccredited institution is a genuine reason- they should be able to do so without having to make a devil’s bargain that puts the taxpayers on the hook once again. ”