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Re: Jersey City school board rejects contract for new superintendent
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Deputy Mayor Kabili is the Al Sharpton of Jersey City.
Hasn't had a real job in Twenty Years.

Posted on: 2012/9/5 0:48
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Re: Jersey City school board rejects contract for new superintendent
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Jersey City officials distance themselves from deputy mayor's 'racism' charge against education officials

August 31, 2012, 4:23 PM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

Jersey City Deputy Mayor Kabili Tayari’s accusation that the hiring of a new schools superintendent was a “racist” act on behalf of top education officials is not sitting well with folks at City Hall.

Tayari, who made the comments at last night’s BOE meeting, did not run his comments by city officials first, said one City Hall source who asked not to be identified.
“I’m just hoping that it all goes away,” the source said. “He’s a little crazy sometimes.”

Another source said the comment, which Tayari said he made as a private citizen and not an official city spokesman, could make it difficult for top city officials who want a good relationship with the new superintendent, Marcia V. Lyles.
“We have to work with this woman,” the second source said.

Tayari said last night that Lyles’ appointment was an example of “racism” and “neo-colonialism.” Though Lyles is black, Tayari noted that state Education Commissioner Chris Cerf is white.

“They decided that they would go find somebody so we couldn’t cry racism,” Tayari said last night. “That’s how slick racism is. So you can’t accuse them of doing the dirt, they go and make it look clean.”

Mayor Jerramiah Healy distanced himself from Tayari’s comments, saying he “couldn’t disagree more” with the deputy mayor.

"I don't see any evidence of racism on the part of the board or anyone else in this selection,” Healy said in a statement. “Indeed, I don't believe there was anything remotely resembling racism playing a part in this decision.”

BOE President Sue Mack declined to comment. Asked to respond to Tayari’s charge of racism, Cerf spokeswoman Barbara Morgan issued a statement praising the new schools chief.

"We wish Dr. Lyles the best of luck as she begins the work of making sure all children in Jersey City have access to a high quality education,” Morgan said.

Morgan did not respond to a follow-up request for a response to Tayari’s comments.

Critics of Lyles’ appointment allege Cerf, who like Lyles is a graduate of the controversial Broad Superintendents Academy, hand-picked Lyles and all but told the BOE to hire her. Cerf’s office denies the charge.

Tayari told The Jersey Journal this afternoon that city officials had not spoken to him about the matter.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... y_officials_distance.html

Posted on: 2012/9/3 18:34
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Re: Jersey City school board rejects contract for new superintendent
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I just read the article that FKSJC linked. It indicated that Lyles has some unsepcified "history with the controversial Broad Superintendents Academy." And controversial it is. Here's a bunch of links on the Broad Foundation, founded by Los Angeles billionaire and philanthropist Eli Broad. The most interesting is a blog post by Dianne Ravitch, education expert and critic of the recent corporatization of public schools. The post is entitled Chris Christies's Plan to Privatize NJ's Low-Performing Schools and is dated August 2 of this year. From the post:

The Education Law Center, an independent organization that advocates for the children of New Jersey, obtained a copy of a proposal that the Chris Christie administration made to the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation in Los Angeles.

The plan calls for aggressive state intervention in the state’s lowest performing schools. Acting Commissioner Chris Cerf wants to set up an “achievement district” for the low-performing schools. These schools would likely be closed and handed over to private managers as charter schools. The state plan calls for eliminating collective bargaining in these schools....

It’s somewhat strange that people like Cerf (and Arne Duncan, for that matter) think that a school gets “reformed” or “turned around” by firing the staff, closing the school, and handing it off to a charter operator. Cerf is a smart enough guy, and he surely knows that charters on average don’t produce better results than the public schools they replace unless they push out the low-performing kids.

One of the news stories says that Cerf wants to use New Orleans “recovery school district” as a model for New Jersey, but I wonder if he knows that 79% of the charters in New Orleans were graded either D or F by the state, and that New Orleans ranked 69th of 70 districts in the entire state.

FWIW, Ravitch was once an advocate of charter schools. That was before there were a lot of them. Once there were enough to establish a track record Ravitich examined that record and discovered that, while some charter schools were indeed very good, that the movement as a whole has been a failure.

Links to more from Ravitch.

Posted on: 2012/9/3 10:28
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Re: Jersey City school board rejects contract for new superintendent
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Posted on: 2012/9/2 2:43
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Re: Jersey City school board rejects contract for new superintendent
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Here's an interesting 2007 NYTimes piece about Ms. Lyles:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/29/nyregion/29facebook.html

From the article: "In June, after Andrés Alonso stepped down to lead the Baltimore public school system, Chancellor Joel I. Klein plucked Ms. Lyles from her post as a superintendent in Brooklyn to become the chief official in charge of curriculum and teaching policies this summer. He said that her experience would make her an “extraordinary asset” to his senior leadership team.

"Ms. Lyles has been met with skepticism from other administrators in part because while she was the superintendent of Region 8 in Brooklyn since 2004, her region’s gains in test scores in reading and math, while solid, ran behind those in many other regions."

Some folks in my neighborhood (Lafayette) have organized a boycott this coming Wednesday, 9AM at the Board of Ed (346 Claremont Ave.) to protest her appointment. At the moment I don't know enough about her to have an informed opinion on the issue.

Posted on: 2012/9/2 2:38
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Re: Jersey City school board rejects contract for new superintendent
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not sure how my prior post ended up in Restaurants/Bars, but from this evening (contract reworked):

Jersey City school board appoints new superintendent after raucous three-hour hearing

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... y_board_votes_6-2_in.html

Posted on: 2012/8/31 2:47
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Re: Jersey City school board rejects contract for new superintendent
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Has anyone reviewed this contract? Could we have a $300K+ per year Superintendant? Absurd! I thought this new school board was supposed to be comprised of people who would watch the bottom line?

http://www.jerseycityindependent.com/ ... verpower-education-board/

Posted on: 2012/8/31 2:35
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Re: Jersey City school board rejects contract for new superintendent
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Jersey City prospective school superintendent accepts new deal

August 24, 2012, 9:59 AM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

Jersey City's prospective schools superintendent Marcia V. Lyles accepted today four revisions Board of Education members made Wednesday to the contract she had been originally offered, leaving only state officials to sign off on the new agreement.

The revisions do not represent major changes to the original nearly four-year agreement, which grants Lyles a $231,000 annual salary.

Lyles, who is moving from Delaware to Jersey City, tomorrow could not be reached tonight to comment.

Board president Suzanne Mack said tonight that Lyles' agreement to the revisions and the state's anticipated sign-off means the 29,000-student school district can now get back to the business of education.

"I am absolutely thrilled that we are finally going to move toward the beginning of the school year with a new superintendent," Mack said. "For the past few months, the entire focus has been on getting a superintendent and now it's time to refocus on what's really important, which is the delivery of the best services for our children."

The changes, approved unanimously at a special board meeting Wednesday night, came a week after the board rejected the original pact with Lyles that one Lyles supporter called "vague."

The revisions include setting up goals for Lyles to meet before she can be awarded merit pay, and authorizing the school board to create an action plan if Lyles shows any weaknesses during performance evaluations, according to Mack.

Board member Sangeeta Ranade, a Lyles supporter, said in a statement that she hoped Wednesday night's vote translates into a final, unanimous vote to appoint her as the new schools chief.

"It will show her that we value the experience she brings and show the special interests that there is a united front to focus on students," Ranade said.

The merit pay clause of the contract -- Lyles would be able to receive a roughly $34,000 bonus each year -- was particularly controversial, with board members who voted against the agreement last week saying Lyles shouldn't get any kind of performance bonus until at least the second year of the nearly four-year agreement.

Under the revisions, the BOE would set up goals by Oct. 31, and Lyles would have to meet them before being awarded any first-year bonus, according to Mack, who added that the board is under no obligation to award Lyles merit pay.

The other revisions require the BOE to set up goals for Lyles' second year by next April, pushed back from January in the original contract; permit Lyles to use the school district's attorney, not the BOE attorney, for work-related disputes; and eliminate some language from Lyles' job description.

A longtime school official in New York City, Lyles has spent the last three years as the superintendent for the Christina district in northern Delaware.

Her contract now has to be approved the county superintendent, which is really the state Department of Education local representative.

The contract would then be sent back to the local school board for a vote, which Mack anticipates taking place Tuesday or Thursday.

Journal staff writer Ken Thorbourne contributed to this story.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... y_prospective_school.html

Posted on: 2012/8/25 2:58
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Re: Jersey City school board rejects contract for new superintendent
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Jersey City school board revises controversial contract with prospective schools chief

August 23, 2012, 1:23 PM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

Four revisions have been made to the contract the Jersey City Board of Education is offering prospective schools superintendent Marcia V. Lyles, and the new pact now awaits approval from Lyles and from state education officials.

The changes come a week after the board rejected the terms of the original contract, with even one Lyles supporter calling the agreement "vague."

The revisions include setting up goals for Lyles to meet before she can be awarded merit pay, and authorizing the school board to create an action plan if Lyles shows any weaknesses during performance evaluations, according to BOE President Sue Mack.

Lyles supporter Sangeeta Ranade said in a statement that she hopes last night's vote translates into a final, unanimous vote to appoint her as the new schools chief.

"It will show her that we value the experience she brings and show the special interests that there is a united front to focus on students," Ranade said.

The merit pay clause of the contract – Lyles would be able to receive a roughly $34,000 bonus each year – was particularly controversial, with board members who voted against the agreement last week saying Lyles shouldn’t get any kind of performance bonus until at least the second year of the nearly four-year pact, which grants Lyles a $231,000 annual salary.

Under the revisions, approved unanimously at a special board meeting last night, the BOE would set up goals by October 31, and Lyles would have to meet them before being awarded any first-year bonus, according to Mack, who added that the board is under no obligation to award Lyles merit pay.

The other revisions require the BOE to set up goals for Lyles’ second year by next April, pushed back from January in the original contract; permit Lyles to use the school district’s attorney, not the BOE attorney, for work-related disputes; and eliminate some language from Lyles’ job description.

The new agreement has been sent to Lyles’ attorney for review, and then to the Hudson County schools superintendent. Mack said she hopes that will happen within the next 72 hours, permitting the board to finalize Lyles’ appointment at its regular meeting next Thursday.

Lyles’ appointment was set to be finalized last week, but the BOE deadlocked in a 4-4 vote on approving the contract. Mack said board members indicated last night that if the revisions are OK’d by Lyles and the county superintendent, they will not stand in the way of her appointment.

Lyles is reportedly moving to Jersey City tomorrow.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... y_school_board_revis.html

Posted on: 2012/8/23 22:04
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Re: Jersey City school board rejects contract for new superintendent
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Jersey City Board of Education meeting tonight to discuss alterations to Lyles contract

Wednesday, August 22, 2012, 9:41 AM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

The Jersey City Board of Education will meet tonight to discuss changing the terms of a proposed contract with the school district’s prospective new superintendent.

The school board met last week to finalize its agreement with Marcia V. Lyles, the board’s choice to replace former schools chief Charles T. Epps Jr. But the board, down one member, deadlocked 4-4 after one Lyles supporter called the contract “vague” and insisted it have a clause permitting the board to fire Lyles for poor performance.

BOE president Sue Mack said tonight’s meeting will begin with a short public comment session, after which the board will convene behind closed doors to discuss the contract. If the board agrees on changes, the pact will head to the state Education Department and to Lyles for their review and approval.

Lyles, who worked for decades as a teacher and administrator in the New York City public school system, most recently was schools chief for Delaware’s largest school district. Her tenure in Jersey City had been set to begin yesterday until the contract was torpedoed at last week’s meeting.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the sixth-floor conference room of the BOE’s headquarters, 346 Claremont Ave.

http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index ... oard_of_education_17.html

Posted on: 2012/8/22 16:03
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Re: Jersey City school board rejects contract for new superintendent
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Quote:
Is that offensive? It seems an extremely appropriate historical metaphor. When tribes in the last decades of the 19th century were pushed too far in losing their rights & property, they literally "left the reservation", as in no longer cooperated with the forces trying to keep them placid.


Thanks for the history lesson but I get my information from more current sources. I picked up on that the word “reservation” is offensive to Native American’s in a Seinfeld episode I saw last week. The episode was titled “The Cigar Store Indian”.

This is the classic exchange between Jerry and the Native American girl he is trying to date.

** **

[Winona's apartment]


Jerry sits on the couch. Winona enters with their jackets.


WINONA: So, where are we gonna go eat?


JERRY: I thought we'd eat at the Gentle Harvest.


WINONA: Ooh, I love that place, but it's usually so crowded. Can we get a table?


JERRY: Ah, don't worry. I made reser... (catches himself)


WINONA: You made what?


JERRY: I uh, I uh, I arranged for the appropriate accommodation. And then, Knick
tickets, floor seats.


WINONA: How did you get these?


JERRY: Got 'em on the street, from a scal... (catches himself again) A uh, one
of those guys.


WINONA: What guys?


JERRY: You know, the guys, that uh, they sell the tickets for the sold-out
events.


WINONA: Oh.

Posted on: 2012/8/22 12:49
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Re: Jersey City school board rejects contract for new superintendent
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Quote:

neverleft wrote:
PS – Hey Sue I hope you didn’t just offend Native American Indian’s. Not cool.


Is that offensive? It seems an extremely appropriate historical metaphor. When tribes in the last decades of the 19th century were pushed too far in losing their rights & property, they literally "left the reservation", as in no longer cooperated with the forces trying to keep them placid.

Posted on: 2012/8/22 1:40
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Re: Jersey City school board rejects contract for new superintendent
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I don't see that as arrogant at all.
She had a consensus, changes were made, and now she has to go back and negotiate again to rebuild consensus.
She expects to be successful. I expect she will be.
She's doing what a board president should do, and she's doing it well.

Posted on: 2012/8/22 0:31
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Re: Jersey City school board rejects contract for new superintendent
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Wow how arrogant is the below quote from Sue Mack? So who is calling the shots here? The superintendent candidate or the BOE President or the Broad Foundation or the State? I could see it is NOT the JC tax payer. Let the JC taxpayers see the amended contract…NOW.

**

“BOE President Sue Mack, a Lyles supporter, said she believes some of the "no"votes may have voted in favor of the pact were it not for changes made during review by the county superintendent.

"That put them off the reservation," said Mack, adding she is working with board members to schedule a meeting to discuss amending the contract. Regardless of Wednesday's action, Mack said,

Lyles will be the next schools superintendent. "It'll happen eventually," she said.”


**
PS – Hey Sue I hope you didn’t just offend Native American Indian’s. Not cool.

Posted on: 2012/8/21 22:09
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Re: Jersey City school board rejects contract for new superintendent
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Jersey City school board to review contract for new superintendent

Published: Tuesday, August 21, 2012, 2:33 PM
By Terrence T. McDonald

The Jersey City Board of Education will meet tomorrow night to discuss changing the terms of a proposed contract with the school district’s prospective new superintendent.

The school board met last week to finalize its agreement with Marcia V. Lyles, the board’s choice to replace former schools chief Charles T. Epps Jr. But the BOE, down one member, deadlocked 4-4 after one Lyles supporter called the contract “vague” and insisted it have a clause permitted the board to fire Lyles for poor performance.

BOE President Sue Mack said tomorrow’s meeting will begin with a short public comment session, after which the board will convene behind closed doors to discuss the contract. If the board agrees upon changes, the pact heads to the state and to Lyles for their review and approval.

Lyles, who worked for decades as a teacher and administrator in the New York City public-school system, most recently acted as schools chief for Delaware’s largest school district. Her tenure in Jersey City was set to begin yesterday before the contract was torpedoed at last week’s meeting.

Tomorrow’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the sixth-floor conference room of the BOE’s headquarters, 346 Claremont Ave.

Full JJ piece…


http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... y_school_board_to_re.html


Quote:
Glad to see people are outraged…Why would the JCBOE offer someone a contract from August 20, 2012 to June 30, 2016? How stupid! Didn’t they learn from Epps? (or better yet Obama?) Here’s an idea offer a one year contract, if things improve offer another year, if things don't improve hit the road.


If she doesn’t like those terms then ..tough shi*… go to the next person on the list. The “research” firm gave the JCBoE it’s six top candidates out of many. Go right down the list of six. I don’t understand why there is even a negotiation when 50 highly qualified candidates from across the country applied. I bet if you offered one of them 150K they would jump on it.

So let me get this straight the JCBoE is saying something is already in the contract that she will get fired if the schools don’t improve? Is it get fired with NO “package”? Or will the she get a year’s salary like Epps did?

Posted on: 2012/8/21 20:48
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Re: Jersey City school board rejects contract for new superintendent
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Was outgoing Jersey City school board trustee eligible to vote on superintendent contract?

The Hudson Reporter
Aug 17, 2012

JERSEY CITY - When outgoing Jersey City Board of Education trustee Marvin Adames sent out a press statement on Aug. 2 announcing his resignation, most parents and members of the public assumed the resignation was effective immediately. After all, the press statement specifically said the resignation was effective immediately.

As it turns out, Adames had not officially given written notification of his resignation to Board Chairwoman Suzanne Mack. Adames did not officially resign until 3 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 17.

In an e-mailed letter sent from his iPhone, Adames wrote to Mack:

Dear Madam President:

In the recent past, I announced my intent to resign from my position as a Board Member of the Jersey City Public Schools, and thus my position as Vice President.

My swearing-in to be a Newark Municipal Judge takes place today, Friday, Aug. 17, 2012 at 5p.m. As a member of the judiciary, I will no longer be allowed to participate on the board.

Consequently, I officially resign my post on the board today, Friday, Aug. 17, 2012 at 3 p.m. It has been a great pleasure to serve; I am certain the District will continue to achieve and find success.

I can schedule a time to turn in my laptop, IPad, ID, car placard, Board Office key and any other items that may be required. Thank you much for your commitment to the Board, the District and each student in the Jersey City Public Schools.

Marvin Adames
Sent from my iPhone

Mack later posted the following statement to her Facebook page:

"I have recieved Marvin's resignation effective today at 3pm. I will accept it formally on August 30th at which time I will call for nomination to replace him from the remaining members as Vice Chair. We will also announce the process we will entertain to fill his seat until the next Board election in April 2013, In that election there will be four seats up 3 for 3 year

terms and 1 for a one year term expiring in 2014. The 65 days we have to fill the seat begins today. We wish Marvin and his family the best as he embarks on his Judgeship."

Why it's significant

The exact timing of Adames' official resignation is significant because on Wednesday, Aug. 15, the remaining eight board members deadlocked over whether or not to ratify a contract for incoming superintendent of schools Dr. Marcia Lyles. Lyles' $231,000-a-year contract failed to be ratified Wednesday when the board vote was split 4-4.

Adames did not attend Wednesday's meeting and did not participate in the vote, which made sense if he resigned on Aug. 2. Given that his resignation was not official until Aug. 17, it is likely he could have participated in all board matters until then. Indeed, he could have cast the deciding vote to ratify Lyles' contract.

Instead, the 4-4 vote likely killed the original contract and will now force the board and Lyles to renegotiate her terms of employment.

In the meantime, some residents are now asking whether Adames' absence from the ratification vote will further complicate matters. According to state law, school boards can "contract a superintendent of schools by the recorded roll call majority vote of the full membership of the board."

Since the full Jersey City school board was not present for the Aug. 15 ratification vote, because Adames was absent, it is not clear whether the ratification vote is valid. - E. Assata Wright

http://www.hudsonreporter.com/view/fu ... te_lead_story_left_column

Posted on: 2012/8/20 14:55
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Re: Jersey City school board rejects contract for new superintendent
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Hmmm. Good and bad. The contract was definitely ridiculous. I only wish I had a guaranteed 4 year deal at work with "merit pay" that's automatic and not actually based on merit. The car's nice too.

On the other hand, we do need a Superintendent and there's not much really to suggest that Lyles would not be a decent one. Sort of hope they're able to renegotiate a sensible contract with mutual risk and reward. The alternatives at this point are looking slim.

Posted on: 2012/8/17 13:01
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Jersey City school board rejects contract for new superintendent
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Jersey City school board rejects contract for new superintendent after four-hour meeting

August 15, 2012, 10:53 PM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

In a surprise move, a split Jersey City Board of Education tonight voted down a nearly four-year contract that would have appointed Marcia V. Lyles as the school district’s new superintendent.

The action capped an emotional, four-hour meeting that saw nearly a dozen members of the public urging the board against approving the pact, which would have awarded Lyles a $231,000 annual salary.

The board voted 4-4, with members Vidya Gangadin, Marilyn Roman, Angel Valentin and Sterling Waterman voting against. BOE President Sue Mack voted in favor, along with members Carol Harrison-Arnold, Carol Lester and Sangeeta Ranade. Measures that receive tie votes are rejected.

The board normally has nine members, but Marvin Adames, the former board vice president, resigned earlier this month to become a Newark municipal judge. Adames was a Lyles supporter.

Gangadin, who had previously voted in favor of Lyles’ appointment, said her beef is with the contract, calling it “vague” and saying it doesn’t have enough protections for the district if Lyles doesn’t perform up to standards.

Gangadin added that she has a problem with a provision of the contract that would have allowed Lyles to receive up to $34,630 in merit pay in her first year.

“You got to earn merit pay,” she said.

The crowd of about two dozen erupted into cheers when the voting was completed, with one woman screaming, “Thank you, Jesus!”

Board members who voted in favor of the agreement warned that the district is running out of time to put a schools chief in place.

“This is what the district needs to be able to move forward,” said Harrison-Arnold. “The issues that are being raised are not the substantive issues.

Harrison-Arnold, Lester and Waterman were not present, but participated via conference call.

The nearly four year agreement would have run from Monday to June 30, 2016. A board attorney said the board attempted to draft a contract that would end June 30, 2015, but state officials told them the pact had to run a minimum of three full years.

Lyles would have gotten a $201,384 base salary for the first nine months, and then $231,000 annually for the final three years. She would have received a benefits package valued at roughly $10,000 annually, as well as a district car available for “reasonable personal use” and up to $10,000 in moving expenses.

Mack said the board has to meet soon to discuss revising the contract. Lyles would then have to approve the revisions before it can be finalized.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... y_school_board_rejec.html

Posted on: 2012/8/16 21:53
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