Superintendent Frank Alvarez To Be Head Of Rye Schools

Many New Jersey superintendents are retiring or leaving the state as a result of salary caps imposed by Gov. Christie


Dr. Frank Alvarez, the superintendent of schools in Montclair, will not retire, but will replace long-time district superintendent Edward Shine in the Rye City School District.

Shine, superintendent in Rye for 16 years, announced in July 2011 that he would retire at the end of the current school year in June 2012.

In February, Alvarez said he'd be stepping down as superintendent of the Montclair school district after nine years in the job.

Only a few years ago, the Montclair Board of Education announced that it had approved a new five-year contract for Alvarez that extended from July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2014.

That contract called for Alvarez to remain at a salary of $216,083 for two years.

Previously, Alvarez was superintendent of River Vale Schools and North Caldwell schools in New Jersey.

In a press release, Alvarez said that: "I'm honored to be given this opportunity. Rye is one of the nation's premier public school districts and I am committed to helping drive the district to even greater heights."

Alvarez is one of many New Jersey superintendents that have retired or are leaving the state, mostly as a result of salary caps imposed by the administration of Gov. Chris Christie.

The caps, imposed through regulation and without legislative approval, establish salaries for top school officials depending on the size of the district. The top scale for those in districts with between 5,000-10,000 students—such as Montclair—is $175,000, the governor’s salary, and the number goes down to as low as $135,000 for the smallest districts.

John Lee March 23, 2012 at 11:28 AM
Does anyone know if this bloke will be receiving a pension from New Jersey since he's "retiring" from his position here?
big07042 March 23, 2012 at 12:04 PM
The Gov. Salary Cap for Supt. actually goes as low as $120k. Good for Alvarez! I hope people realize that government price controls (in this case the price of salaries) never works.
tryintosurvive March 23, 2012 at 12:38 PM
I think Alvarez did a fine job. I also think that we should be able to find some qualified and capable candidates for $175,000. Some fresh ideas could be good for the schools.
John Lee March 23, 2012 at 12:41 PM
necessity is the mother of invention, perhaps some younger, fresher talent who know how to do more with less will revolutionize education in NJ; we Americans have this talent for throwing money at things as the solution for everything, perhaps the salary caps will usher in a new era of reworking the resources already before us; I'd like to comment more but I have new furniture arriving from West Elm this morning. :)
econ101 March 23, 2012 at 01:17 PM
The "do more with less" is the worst platitude around. Experience and common sense dictates you usually get less with less. As for the price controls, the Governor has created an artificial shortage of qualified Supt. There is an increased incentive to leave for positions in other states and less incentive to leave the Principals position for a pay cut to take Supt jobs. Price controls never work. Let the market dictate price (salaries) For more on supply/demand, read Milton Friedman, Tom Sowell, etc.
econ101 March 23, 2012 at 01:18 PM
I think Montclair School District is in for a bumpy ride over the next few years. Some interims, no one minding the shop and a general sense of no one in charge.
econ101 March 23, 2012 at 01:19 PM
I think parents (and children) will suffer. On the plus side, the district will save 50K (out of a $110,000,000 budget) on the Supt Salary.
frank rubacky March 23, 2012 at 01:49 PM
maybe money wasn't the main reason he left....
ziggysob March 23, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't - the issue is how can the district recruit a qualified person for 175k. I understand it is more than many people make in their jobs, but this position is 24/7/365. The Gov is making it difficult to recruit individuals to this position. Ultimately, this is be an organization with an interim in charge and we all know how well that works out. And before you ask, there is no one currently in district that can move up. Not one person.
Stu's Wife March 23, 2012 at 03:15 PM
John Lee - of course he will. He'll collect a NJ pension and his NY salary simultaneously. And then in 5 years, he'll retire from his position in Rye and collect a pension from both NJ and NY.
frank rubacky March 23, 2012 at 03:38 PM
What do you think is the reason we don't have promotable people?
Stuart Weissman March 23, 2012 at 03:45 PM
"Let the market dictate price (salaries)." The super salary cap IS the market dictating price. If the public sector in NJ didn't sell their votes in exchange for untenable compensation, there would be no reason to cap salaries. The only thing that can be taken from Alvarez' departure is that he cares more about his own remuneration than he does for Montclair. Cuomo is months away from establishing a super cap in New York. By Alverez locking in a another 5-year contract, he will ensure he makes his quarter million and gets two pensions to boot. Plus, why would he want to stick around when the high school risks getting taken over by the state for failing AYP for too many years in a row? Rye can have him. Montclair will just be paying for him indefinitely.
Butterfly March 23, 2012 at 04:03 PM
I never understood why people think that a top person makes a district perform. Would money and effort not more wisely spend by fostering a strong organization to begin with?
Butterfly March 23, 2012 at 04:05 PM
I am sorry but For-profit != non-Profit/Government If I correctly remember than Friedman was talking about the for-profit sector.
Montclair Public March 23, 2012 at 05:28 PM
This is what happens when the blustering governor makes a self-serving stand to find scapegoats for frightened and cash-strapped folks to blame for the state of the economy. Rye is a very wealthy community and could afford to open its wallet before Cuomo's cap goes into effect. Yes, let's cap superintendent salaries -- they're only responsible for the well-being of our schools -- while Christie keeps his mouth shut on what Rutgers spends on its football coach and his hand-picked developers make a fortune on ridiculous projects like Xanadu.
John_MTC March 23, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Sorry Stu - Only two things dictate market price - Supply and Demand. not an arbitrary and never voted on Salary Cap created by Gov Christie.
Stuart Weissman March 23, 2012 at 06:00 PM
I'll remember that John, as I pay my toll on my commute home which recently doubled to pay for the building of the new Freedom tower which is privately owned.
chris June 15, 2012 at 02:41 PM
He should not get a pension from NJ when he's going over to NY to work. This is ridiculous. He's not working in the private sector -- it's public money and I for one think $210,000 is way too much for that position. More of that money should go to the students and facilities -- not bloated beaurocrats. Good for Gov. Christie.


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