Paterson school superintendent Shafer could get $35,000 in bonuses | Paterson Times Paterson Times

Paterson school superintendent Shafer could get $35,000 in bonuses

By Jayed Rahman
Published: February 7, 2019


Superintendent Eileen Shafer could collect as much as $35,000 in bonuses if she meets five goals outlined in a resolution approved by the school board on Wednesday night.

Shafer’s contract states she could earn $34,926 on top of her $233,000 salary if she meets the quantitative and qualitative merit goals below:

School board members approved the measure without opposition.

School board president Oshin Castillo and vice president Nakima Redmon could not immediately be reached for comments for this story on Thursday morning.

Shafer’s predecessor Donnie Evans had a clause in his contract that allowed him to earn as much $10,900 or 15-percent on top of his $218,000 salary for attaining merit goals.

School board members partially discussed the goals in their Nov. 7, 2018 public meeting. Some raised questions about the goals.

Longtime board member Jonathan Hodges found the goals easily attainable and not enough to drastically improve education in the district.

“Using historical data, we currently have 229 students enrolled and we’re going to increase 50% to roughly another 115 students. Is that the goal here, 50%?” asked Hodges speaking of the goal to increase AP enrollment in November. “You’re going to increase the number of students achieving a qualifying score of 3 or greater by 25%, which means going from 45 to 56. I don’t think that an increase of 11 is a substantial increase over a year, particularly if we’re getting all this effort that I see here.”

“I know the number of students was 229 enrolled in AP courses in 2017-2018. That actually has jumped 100% for 2018-2019.  If the enrollment doubled this school year, why is our increase 25%?  Should we shoot for something higher?” asked former school board member Jessica Schutte in November.

Hodges thought the goal to raise PARCC scores sufficient given that there was just 1-percent increase the previous school year.

“I don’t think that’s terribly substantial,” said Hodges of the previous school year. “An 8.5% or 10% increase would give you a meaningful point that you can say you’ve actually done some real work.”

Part of the goals discussed in November included improving chronic absenteeism. But that was not included in the five goals approved last night.

Hodges said the goal to increase the graduation rate was not substantial.

“You have here, increase the high school graduation rate by 2%.  That would translate overall into an increase from 1,330 students to 26 additional students.  In fact, the graduation rate would go from 47% to 48%, which is not substantial,” said Hodges in November.

Hodges and Schutte were the only two members of the 9-person board to fully engage during the discussion around goals last year.

“My initial concern was they were not sufficient,” said Hodges of the goals on Thursday afternoon.  “When evaluation season comes around we’ll see what the progress is.”

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