NJ For Change

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Camden Schools Superintendent Scandal

Over the last two years, Camden Schools Superintendent Annette D. Knox received performance bonuses that the school board did not approve or even know about. Her current base salary is $185,483.

Knox collected the bonuses for 2004 and 2005 after submitting requests to the business office that said the district had met performance goals.

According to the state, Camden has not met state standards for the period covered by Knox's contract. Camden missed making adequate yearly progress in math and language arts under No Child Left Behind for both 2003-04 and 2004-05. Scores have not yet been released for the 2005-06 school year.
Knox’s compensation was also a good deal greater than what she reported.

Knox was among several superintendents cited in a scathing report in March by the State Commission on Investigations that found that some school administrators receive hidden salary, benefits and bonuses. Knox's compensation was $222,911, or 24 percent more than what she reported, and she received perks such as automobile expenses and an annuity, the report said.
But a lack of performance and candor did not stop Camden’s board from approving a new three-year contract for Knox.

The three-year contract that the Camden board approved for Knox last week takes effect July 1, spells out the bonus procedure and requires board approval, Freeman said. Corzine must approve that agreement, which would increase her salary to $208,644 by 2008. Officials would not release the document saying, it had not yet been finalized.
Knox's salary is just one part of her total compensation and we are not getting our money's worth. Neither are the kids in Camden.

Dwaine Williams, a board member when the 2003 contract was negotiated, described the district as "more chaotic today than it has ever been. How in God's name can you say that things are improving?"
Why am I not surprised?
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