Relevant Points & Blurbs relating to whether a Superintendent can be terminated from his/her position (outside of tenure charges)
The Commissioner in Dunn and Harrington acknowledge a Superintendent’s entitlement to his/her position. See Dunn v. Elizabeth Board of Education, 96 N.J.A.R.2d (EDU) 279 (N.J. Admin. 1995); and Harrington v. Board of Education of the Township of Clinton, Hunterdon County, 95 N.J.A.R.2d. (EDU) 535 (N.J. Admi. 1995). In Dunn v. Elizabeth Board of Education, 96 N.J.A.R.2d (EDU) 279 (N.J. Admin. 1995), the Commissioner found that N.J.S.A. 18A:17-15 to 20.5 “provides for employment for the duration of a Superintendent’s contract, thus conferring a status beyond mere entitlement to money.” The Commissioner in Dunn further found that the statutory scheme does not permit unilateral termination of a Superintendent’s employment. Rather, the Board’s options in affecting the superintendent’s employment are limited to filing tenure charges, waiting for the employment contract to expire, or to not renew the contract. If the Board decides not to renew the contract, then N.J.S.A. 18A:27-9 authorizes the Board to terminate the employment during the period between the time notice of non-renewal was given to the superintendent, to the expiration of the employment term. In comparing the statutory scheme before and after the 1991 amendments, the Commissioner in Harrington explained that in 1991, the Legislature proposed to add a provision to N.J.S.A. 18A:17-20.2 that would authorize the Board to unilaterally terminate a superintendent’s employment contract by allowing for a “buy out.” However, that provision was ultimately left out of the statute. Instead, the Legislature provided the remedies as discussed in Dunn: the Board may file tenure charges, wait for the contract to expire, or decide not to renew the contract, and as such, terminate the superintendent after notice of non-renewal was given. In Kohn, the Commissioner stated that the...
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