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Re: BOE approves huge $268K settlement -- paves the way for Epps to leave in December
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How much is his pension, in addition to this nice windfall he's getting?

All under the guise of preserving a quality public education for the children of Jersey City. Jeesh.

Posted on: 2012/6/20 11:46
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Re: BOE approves huge $268K settlement -- paves the way for Epps to leave in December
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Jersey City Board of Education has paid former superintendent Epps, who retired in December, $422,644 this year

June 19, 2012, 3:03 AM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

Longtime Jersey City schools superintendent Charles T. Epps Jr., who retired in December after more than 40 years with the district, has been paid $422,644 so far this year, according to the school district.

Epps received a $268,000 settlement, roughly equal to one year?s salary, from the Board of Education in exchange for his agreement not to sue the district over a contract dispute. Epps had a contract that permitted him to stay through the 2012-13 school year, but a board majority believed that contract wasn?t valid.

The additional sum comes from Epps cashing in unused sick and vacation days, to the tune of $154,444, according to district spokeswoman Paula Christen. Epps received $86,362 for 621.5 accumulated sick days and $68,081 for 66 unused vacation days, Christen said.

Gov. Chris Christie and Democrats, who control the state Legislature, have been battling since last year over proposals to cap sick-time payouts for public employees.

State legislators passed a bill last year that would have capped the payouts at $15,000, but Christie vetoed it. Democrats then suggested making the cap $7,500, but the governor has said he wants the practice to end entirely.

?Why should anybody be entitled to a $7,500 check when they leave just because they don?t get sick?? Christie said at a West New York town hall meeting in December. ?It?s ridiculous.?

http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index ... oard_of_education_11.html

Posted on: 2012/6/20 2:30
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Re: BOE approves huge $268K settlement -- paves the way for Epps to leave in December
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Jersey City Board of Education hopes to name new superintendent by April, consultant says

February 22, 2012, 3:19 PM
By Charles Hack/The Jersey Journal

The Jersey City Board of Education is continuing its national search for a new superintendent and is hoping to select a new schools chief by April, a consultant for the search said at Tuesday night's Jersey City City Council caucus.

Carol Lester, vice president of the Jersey City Board of Education gave a brief presentation to the city council Tuesday night and asked for council members' input on the selection criteria for the new superintendent.

?We are looking for input from community members, and wanted to make sure the City Council, as elected representatives of Jersey City, have an input in qualification criteria for the search,? Lester said.

The Board of Education has held six community meetings since November to get public input on how the new chief is selected. The next public meeting will be held at School 7, 222 Laidlaw Avenue Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Franklin Walker has been serving as interim superintendent since Charles Epps Jr. stepped down from the position on Dec. 31. Board of Education members agreed to give Epps $268,000 to voluntarily step down after leading Jersey City's public schools for more than a decade.

Last year the board approved a national search and appointed West Hudson Associates and Hazard Young, Attea and Associates to conduct the search.

William Librera, a former commissioner for the New Jersey Department of Education, and now the executive director of West Hudson Associates, told the council that according to the Board of Education?s ?ambitious timetablem,? final candidates would be interviewed by mid-April, he said.

Librera said the consultants want to advertise for a new superintendent in March and to interview candidates in early April.

Despite the fact that the state has final approval over the naming of a new superintendent, Librera said he is confident that the Board of Education will have final say over Epps' replacement.

"The state has made clear that this will be a decision that the Jersey City Board of Education makes,? Lester said.

Posted on: 2012/2/23 2:33
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SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH UPDATE Mtgs Tonight and Tomorrow
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Tonight: Wednesday, January 11th at 6pm in Snyder High School Town Meeting for COmmunity Input on Superintendent Search- one of six Marvin Adames, Board Member Chair for Search Community outreach has hosted. JCSupersearch@jcboe.org

Tomorrow night: Thursday, January 12th at 6pm, The Board as a whole is interviewing two finalists Search Firms to aid in a professional, transparent and inclusive search for a district our size. Ray and Associates and West Hudson/Hazard, Young Attea have both placed hundreds of candidates over the past ten years- many in large urban turn around districts as well as hybrid State/Local control Districts. Both have placed traditional and non traditional candidates and have large pools of National and Regional talent.
There was an RFP process to get to this point, but few firms specialize in Superintendent placements in Districts our size. Upon awarding a contract which will most likely happen this Thursday, The Board will begin to post timelines, Search criteria (including compiled data from Marvin Adames Town Meetings), and other documents.

The interviews are noticed so the Public can attend and the Board can take action on a contract. The Search firm Presentations will be made in front of the Board and the Public. There will be cards available for Public comment in writing so that when the Board goes into closed sessin for a deliberation all comments can be included as part of that deliberation. The meeting is at the Claremont Building, first floor. There is parking and a light rail stop.

Carol Lester, Vice President JC BOE
and Chair Search Committee

Posted on: 2012/1/11 21:58
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Re: BOE approves huge $268K settlement -- paves the way for Epps to leave in December
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Charles Epps Jr. is in his last days as Jersey City's schools superintendent

Tuesday, December 27, 2011, 10:19 AM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

Jersey City Schools Superintendent Charles T. Epps Jr. steps down this week after leading Jersey City?s public schools for more than a decade.

Epps? departure, set for Dec. 31, is not entirely voluntary. The Board of Education agreed in October to give Epps $268,000 approximately his annual salary in exchange for his resignation and his agreement not to sue the district over a disputed contract that would have kept him at the helm until 2013.

Epps declined to comment for this story.

?He probably would have preferred to leave under his own terms,? said Marie Morrissey, the retired former principal at School 38. ?But he is secure knowing he did a lot for the district.?

Epps was no stranger to Jersey City when the state appointed him as superintendent in September 2000.

A lifelong city resident, Epps started his education career in 1967 as a seventh-grade teacher at School 16, and in seven years became a math supervisor. He was a director and associate superintendent before being appointed the district?s chief administrator.

Epps is the son of the late Charles T. Epps Sr., a pastor of Zion Baptist Church in Jersey City who also worked as an educator in the district.

Joanne P. Kenny, a former associate superintendent who retired in 2004 after 37 years with the district, said Epps? chief concern as superintendent was ?making things better? for students, from instituting a school-uniform policy to creating Jumpstart, a two-day orientation for incoming high-school students.

?It wasn?t about adults with him, it was all about the students,? said Kenny, now an associate professor at Georgian Court University in Lakewood.

BOE member Bill DeRosa, who leads the pro-Epps minority on the board and voted against the October settlement, has known Epps for more than 40 years. A retired teacher, DeRosa defended Epps? tenure, while conceding that the district?s test scores ?seemed to stagnate.?

Last year, only seven of the district?s 38 schools passed federal education benchmarks.

Still, there were bright spots. In 2006, the district was a finalist for the Broad Prize, an award given to the top urban school districts in the nation. And in 2008 the state, which controlled the district since 1989, gave the district back control of its governance and finance.

Epps served for two years starting in 2006 as a state assemblyman, a widely criticized part-time gig. In 2006, he took a trip to England that cost taxpayers $21,000. He later repaid his own expenses. In April 2011, he told a group of local pastors that young girls are the community?s ?worst enemy,? comments he later apologized for.

Epps weathered each of these storms because of his personality, said BOE member Sue Mack, who was the board president when Epps was appointed superintendent.

She ended up voting with the board majority to oust him. She defended that decision while praising Epps? accomplishments, which she said include constructing three new schools and overseeing an ?award-winning? early-childhood education program.

Posted on: 2011/12/28 16:24
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Re: BOE approves huge $268K settlement -- paves the way for Epps to leave in December
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Jersey City parents and educators told the Board of Education wants their input as search for new superintendent begins

November 25, 2011, 3:00 AM
By Charles Hack/The Jersey Journal

The search is on.

After being led by Superintendent of Schools Charles T. Epps Jr. for 11 years, the Jersey City public school system has embarked on a search for his replacement.

At a meeting at School 30 on Tuesday night, some 200 community leaders, parents, teachers and other interested persons were told that their input is wanted.

?What we are looking for in this committee is a transparent process and open process, and we want to hear from as many people as possible,? said Board of Education vice president Carol Lester, chairwoman of the search committee.

The other members of the search committee are board members Carol Harrison-Arnold, Marvin Adames and Bill DeRosa, who served as board president for much of Epps? tenure as superintendent.

As an employee with the school district for well over 40 years, Epps was appointed by the state to oversee the school district in 2000. A state-run school system since 1989, the local school board regained the power to hire and fire the superintendent in 2007.?

?In one of its first acts, it signed Epps to a three-year contract. But over the past couple of years, several new board members, including board president Sterling Waterman, have made getting rid of Epps part of their campaign platforms, citing the number of schools considered failing in the district.

Following several months of negotiations, Epps, who is credited with launching the district?s pre-school program and raising test scores in some of the lower grades, agreed to depart his post at the end of December in exchange for a $268,000 payout, the equivalent of a year?s pay.

?This is a process the like of which has never been done before. We feel that this is a first step toward real change,? Vidya Gangadin, a member of the Jersey City Coalition of Parent Teacher Organizations, said Tuesday.

?Parent leaders from across the city are excited to be part of the panel,? she added, referring to a subcommittee that Adames is heading up.

In a slide show presentation, guest speaker Walter Farrell, a professor in the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, said that big-money conservatives, such as David and Charles Koch, have designs on taking over urban school districts.

?I ask you to consider the pressures on this board and this community to try and slip a Koch-supported superintendent into Jersey City public schools to put you on the road to privatization,? Farrell said.

The Board of Education is seeking to hire a head hunter to help with the search, board members said.

So far, six companies have picked up packages, but only one has submitted a proposal, they said.

The goal is to have a new superintendent in place in time to start the 2012 school year, Waterman said.

An interim superintendent, chosen from within the ranks, will start in January, he said. Candidates for that position are being interviewed on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, officials said.

Posted on: 2011/11/26 6:14
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Re: BOE approves huge $268K settlement -- paves the way for Epps to leave in December
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?We take Dr. Epps at his word,? Waterman said.



What is that WORD? If so, Dr Epps, would have submitted resignation yesterday by 6pm... Did that happen?

Posted on: 2011/10/6 1:34
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Re: BOE approves huge $268K settlement -- paves the way for Epps to leave in December
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Jersey City ready to begin national search for new schools super

Oct 05, 2011
Hudson Reporter

JERSEY CITY ? Board of Education President Sterling Waterman released a statement following Tuesday?s board vote to approve a contract with School Superintendent Charles Epps that ends Dec. 31. Waterman wrote:

The city Board of Education [Tuesday night] adopted a separation agreement for the longtime superintendent of schools, Dr. Charles T. Epps Jr., and began the process of a national search for his replacement.

By a vote of 5-to-4, the board ratified a memorandum of understanding signed late last month by Epps and Board President Sterling Waterman and approved by the Hudson County superintendent of schools and the New Jersey state commissioner of education on behalf of Gov. Chris Christie.

The agreement renews Epps? contract for an additional six months, beginning retroactively and ending on Dec. 31.

Waterman said the board will rely on the agreement already ratified by Epps and move forward in selecting an interim superintendent and conducting a national search to replace the out-going schools chief.

?We take Dr. Epps at his word,? Waterman said. Epps attended the meeting, but did not speak publicly.

The superintendent has served without a contract since last year, when litigation by taxpayers blocked implementation of a new, three-year pact.

?Dr. Epps has led this school district forward for the last 10 years. His legacy speaks for itself,? Waterman said.

?Tonight, the Board of Education took a giant step forward for our city?s public schools. Approving a change in administration, the Board opened a door for the kind of 21st Century school system now being embraced by our neighbor, Newark, and in forward-looking cities all over America,? he added.

Jersey operates 39 public schools for 28,000 students.

Posted on: 2011/10/6 1:03
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Re: BOE approves huge $268K settlement -- paves the way for Epps to leave in December
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Technically, Dr Epps has not resigned yet. There is a good chance that Dr Epps might continue till 2013, in case Dr Epps wins the case, filed by Fulop. Thus, there has to be a settlement and Dr Epps should agree to leave on Dec 31st. Contrary to the claim that there is a settlement, we have not seen one, yet... big area of concern!

Posted on: 2011/10/6 0:53
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Re: BOE approves huge $268K settlement -- paves the way for Epps to leave in December
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Jersey City school board member: BOE 'slapped Dr. Epps in the face' last night

Wednesday, October 05, 2011, 12:33 PM
By The Jersey Journal

Jersey City Board of Education member Sean Connors today blasted the board's move to offer Schools Superintendent Charles T. Epps Jr. $268,000 in exchange for his agreement to leave the district at the end of this year.

Jersey City Board of Education member Sean Connors, the Democratic nominee for state Assembly in November's state elections, said the school board made a "terrible deal" last night when it agreed to give Schools Superintendent Charles T. Epps Jr. $268,000 in exchange for his resignation.

"Dr. Epps has faithfully served Jersey City?s children for over 40 years, and he?s being tossed aside like yesterday?s trash," Connors said today in a statement.

Last night's deal gives Epps, who has led the school district for 11 years, only three more months on the job. His last day will be December 31. In exchange, Epps will receive $268,000 in a settlement whose other details have yet to be released publicly.

Connors, who joined three other board members in voting against the settlement agreement, said the board's majority should have used the money instead to hire more teachers and improve classroom instruction.

"If the board majority was unhappy with Dr. Epps? leadership, they should have worked within the confines of his contract ? not stuck Jersey City taxpayers with an enormous bill," he said. "This is nothing but political gamesmanship by the new board majority at the expense of Jersey City?s children and taxpayers.?

BOE President Sterling Waterman said he was "very disappointed" in Connors' comments. He said he takes "umbrage" at an accusation of politics "coming from a lifelong politician who runs for any political office he can find."

"This is a great opportunity for the district to move forward," Waterman said today. "And it's better than being a rubber stamp for the status quo."

Posted on: 2011/10/6 0:34
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Re: BOE approves huge $268K settlement -- paves the way for Epps to leave in December
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tern wrote:
> Only one question where was Sean Conners on this issue?

The article quoted above says that Connors voted aginst the motion.

Robin.






Make no mistake Saun the hack Conners led the charge last night to keep Good time Charlie right where he is for the next three years.
Saun's fianc? just got a huge raise from uncle Charlie.
Connors uncle Jerry the felon McCann still has the accounting contract at the BOE.

For a guy who is a Cop he sure acts like a Crook.

Posted on: 2011/10/5 22:08
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Re: BOE approves huge $268K settlement -- paves the way for Epps to leave in December
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BOE members who voted for Mr. Epps termination showed gutsy leadership last night--kudos to them.

It is time for a new chapter! Let's hope we find a person of vision, integrity, and required capabilities to lead this city education system that is begging for change.

p.s. the accrued sick-leave pay although legal is an absurdity, hasn't the corruption of this administration robbed us of enough of our tax dollars and more importantly taken resources away from the children!

Posted on: 2011/10/5 18:13
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Re: BOE approves huge $268K settlement -- paves the way for Epps to leave in December
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Quote:

StevenFulop wrote:
Posting an email I sent out on this earlier this morning...

Last night, the Jersey City Board of Education took a huge step toward improving public education in Jersey City. In a significant vote for the future of our city, board president Sterling Waterman, along with board members Sue Mack, Carol Lester, Carol Harrison-Arnold, and Marvin Adames, approved and finalized a formal separation agreement with superintendent Charles Epps. Per the agreement, Dr. Epps will continue in his role until December 31, 2011. After that date, he will step aside as superintendent.

...

Leadership does matter. It sets the tone and establishes a course for outcomes. We should strive for nothing short of excellence in our leaders. Jersey City and its students deserve that. A special thank you to the board members that supported this step; and of course the residents, volunteers, and voters, who ultimately drove this process by demanding results.

Steven Fulop


I reluctantly send you, Mr. Waterman, and the other School Board members on your team my Congratulations for this achievement.

It is a political "win" and a necessary achievement for improving the city's schools. It is a precondition before progress can take hold.

However, it is also a sad day for Jersey City because it is a recognition that the city has been held back by a lack of integrity, leadership, and accountability by school administrators and school board officials for too long.

I wish it had not come to this.

That said, the king is dead. Long live the executive search.

Posted on: 2011/10/5 17:06
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Re: BOE approves huge $268K settlement -- paves the way for Epps to leave in December
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Posted on: 2011/10/5 16:06
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Re: BOE approves huge $268K settlement -- paves the way for Epps to leave in December
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It's about time. I commend the Board members who were finally able to bring this about.

I can't imagine how the other four Board members (Sean Connors, Angel Valentin, Pat Sebron, William DeRosa) could justify their attempt to extend Dr. Epps' contract.

Dr. Epps' tenure has been marked by fiscal mismanagement, cronyism, questionable ethics, and a lack of bottom-line results in improving educational performance. I hate lining his pocket still more, but it's time to close this chapter. Now the focus must be moving on to a search for someone who can lead a real transformation of the system, focused on educational results.

Posted on: 2011/10/5 15:42
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Re: BOE approves huge $268K settlement -- paves the way for Epps to leave in December
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Let's hope they find a superintendent who is smart and innovative. One who will truly lead and inspire. The teachers of this district are desperate for sound leadership and we all know the students and tax payers are deserving of it. NOTE TO THE BOE: HIRE SOMEONE FROM OUTSIDE OF JERSEY CITY. SHAKE DOWN THE BOARD AND PUT AN END TO THE NEPOTISM. We've been dealing with inEPPtitude for much too long!

Posted on: 2011/10/5 14:58
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Re: BOE approves huge $268K settlement -- paves the way for Epps to leave in December
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don't get distracted by the $270K payout. That is peanuts in the scheme of things.

Posted on: 2011/10/5 14:57
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Re: BOE approves huge $268K settlement -- paves the way for Epps to leave in December
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Speaking of Sean Connors, why did he keep talking about transparency last night, when I am told his girlfriend, who is a school employee, was just given a promotion by Epps.

Is this the transparency he was referring to?

Posted on: 2011/10/5 14:17
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Re: BOE approves huge $268K settlement -- paves the way for Epps to leave in December
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Posting an email I sent out on this earlier this morning...

Last night, the Jersey City Board of Education took a huge step toward improving public education in Jersey City. In a significant vote for the future of our city, board president Sterling Waterman, along with board members Sue Mack, Carol Lester, Carol Harrison-Arnold, and Marvin Adames, approved and finalized a formal separation agreement with superintendent Charles Epps. Per the agreement, Dr. Epps will continue in his role until December 31, 2011. After that date, he will step aside as superintendent.

Additionally, the board formally said it would start the process of a national search for a new reform-minded superintendent. The goal is to have a new superintendent in place by the start of the 2012 school year.

It was the belief of this board that every day that the Jersey City school system is not striving for absolute excellence is a day of opportunity for students squandered. That is a very steep price to pay. The terms of the separation will open the door for new leadership. Dr. Epps's contract will be bought out at 50 cents on the dollar, thereby placing new, proactive leadership at the helm of the Jersey City school system two and a half years ahead of schedule.

This has been a complicated process, to say the least. It has been two years since we began organizing as a team focused on supporting reform-minded candidates for the Board of Education. Not coincidentally, it was also two years ago that the former majority on the board fast-tracked contract extensions to protect the status quo. Yesterday, was a correct, principled, and major step in the right direction.

Leadership does matter. It sets the tone and establishes a course for outcomes. We should strive for nothing short of excellence in our leaders. Jersey City and its students deserve that. A special thank you to the board members that supported this step; and of course the residents, volunteers, and voters, who ultimately drove this process by demanding results.

Steven Fulop

Posted on: 2011/10/5 13:32
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Re: BOE approves huge $268K settlement -- paves the way for Epps to leave in December
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> Only one question where was Sean Conners on this issue?

The article quoted above says that Connors voted aginst the motion.

Robin.

Posted on: 2011/10/5 12:53
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Re: BOE approves huge $268K settlement -- paves the way for Epps to leave in December
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I didn't even want to read this article because I knew it would piss me off. Must be nice to be Charles Epps. When are they going to get rid of this sick day payout nonsense?

Posted on: 2011/10/5 12:53
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Re: BOE approves huge $268K settlement -- paves the way for Epps to leave in December
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While the cost seems high, the cost to our children's education would have been even higher had the board allowed him to stay another two years.

Finally, there is a chance for new leadership in the schools and hope that they can be turned around.

Only one question where was Sean Conners on this issue? Did he vote? Did he abstain? Did he even show up? I know he's already declared himself an Assemblyman, but he still sits on the Board of Education and he should have taken a stand. Will this be how he acts in the Assembly, all important issue's he will dodge?

Posted on: 2011/10/5 12:37
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Re: BOE approves huge $268K settlement -- paves the way for Epps to leave in December
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I am willing to believe the current BOE did the best they could with the mess the previous board had served up.
While I do not like Epps getting this kind of payout, a protracted, expensive and acrimonious lawsuit could have been much worse.

I am going to remember who on the BOE was around to vote for that original "contract extension" when the next election comes up. Those individuals should go.

Posted on: 2011/10/5 12:07
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Re: BOE approves huge $268K settlement -- paves the way for Epps to leave in December
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as always apathetic JC taxpayers taken to the cleaners by our so called public servants. Stay classy Epps...

Posted on: 2011/10/5 11:30
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BOE approves huge $268K settlement -- paves the way for Epps to leave in December
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Jersey City BOE approves reported $268K settlement with embattled schools chief

Tuesday, October 04, 2011, 8:40 PM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

Jersey City Superintendent of Schools Charles T. Epps Jr. will reportedly receive $270,000 under a legal settlement approved tonight by the school board.

The Jersey City Board of Education tonight approved a $268,000 settlement with Schools Superintendent Charles T. Epps Jr. that paves the way for Epps to leave the district in December.

The 5-4 vote came after some heated discussion in which dissenting board members questioned whether the board had the authority to offer a monetary settlement to Epps. The members also objected to voting on the settlement after receiving the document only yesterday.

The document has yet to be released to the public, but two board members confirmed it was $268,000.

Board member Patricia Sebron called the settlement ?a hell of a big bill.?

?This is no chunk of cheese,? she said.

Sebron voted against approving the settlement, joining Connors, Bill DeRosa and Angel Valentin. BOE President Sterling Waterman voted yes, along with Vice President Carol Lester, Marvin Adames, Carol Harrison-Arnold and Sue Mack.

Epps, 66, who has led the school district for 11 years, is working under a contract that expired June 30, 2011.

The settlement approved tonight avoids the threat of litigation stemming from a contract extension approved in 2010 by a school board with different leadership. That pact would have extended Epps? tenure to 2013, but it was never given final approval by county officials.

When board members expressed interest in getting rid of Epps earlier this year, the schools chief threatened to sue, board members have said.

The board also voted 5-4 to approve a contract extension for Epps that would end his tenure on Dec. 31, 2011.

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Under agreement, embattled Jersey City schools chief would leave district in December

Tuesday, October 04, 2011, 8:03 PM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

UPDATE: Jersey City BOE approved reported $270K settlement with embattled schools chief

Jersey City School Superintendent Charles T. Epps. Jr. would give up the reins to the district at the end of 2011, according to a contract scheduled to be voted on at tonight's Board of Education meeting.

The proposed contract, which would extend the embattled school chief's current contract until only Dec. 31, 2011, was released just before the start of tonight's meeting. School officials had previously denied access to it, saying it was not yet finalized.

If approved tonight, the contract would set in motion Epps' departure from a district he's led since 2000, when the state appointed to helm the then-32,000-student district while it was under state control.

Under the agreement, Epps would receive around $71,000 in exchange for roughly 500 "carry over" sick days he accumulated during his employment with the district prior to his appointment as superintendent.

In addition, he would be entitled to up to $15,000 for sick days he accrued during the roughly six years he was the state-appointed superintendent.

For the six months of the agreement, which begins July 1, 2011 and ends Dec. 31, 2011, Epps would be paid $134,100, half his current salary. BOE President Sterling Waterman said tonight the district received a waiver to pay Epps more than the new state-mandated maximum.


Epps, 66, a veteran educator whose father was once principal of Lincoln High School, has been the chief target of community members who have said the failing school district cannot turn around with Epps at the helm. Last year, 28 of the district's 38 schools failed to meet federal education benchmarks.

Most recently, the schools chief was vilified for calling "young ladies" the community's "worst enemy." Though he quickly apologized for the comments, which he made to a group of local pastors, the controversy lingered.

In April's school election, the BOE tilted from a body that favored Epps to one that was more adversarial. That night, after election returns became clear, one of the candidates, Carol Harrison-Arnold, concluded her remarks with an exclamation that made her supporters roar.

"Dr. Epps, you're out!" she said.

Posted on: 2011/10/5 1:21
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