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For Release: December 9, 2002
Accomplishments of the New Jersey Department
of Education 2002
Camden Public Schools Fiscal and
On July 16, 2002, Education Commissioner William L. Librera
made public the report of findings and recommendations prepared by the
Camden Public Schools Fiscal and Education Intervention Team.
To assist the district in planning and implementing the
action plan outlined in the report, a commitment was made by the department
to keep the Fiscal and Education Intervention Team in place for the entire
2002-03 school year.
Here is a summation of the successes and accomplishments
achieved by Camden School District and Department of Education officials:
Outcomes to date designed to increase accountability
and achieve greater administrative and operational efficiencies:
- Averted a $14 million projected deficit in the local
school budget for the 2001-02 school year.
- Closed a $46 million gap in revenues versus appropriations
through the construction of the budget, resulting in an approved balanced
budget of $285 million adopted for the 2002-03 school year.
- Improved accountability for extra compensation, resulting
in a budget reduction of $1.7 million.
- Developed process for budget development.
- Established practices for controlling costs, such as
payment of extra compensation, alternative schools, and scope of work
for developer contracts.
- Completed review of all certificated school personnel
(1,780) to verify certifications and teaching assignments.
- Identified and removed from payroll several staff on
extended leave with pay, resulting in a savings of $172,000 in salaries
- Developed a plan for more focused, coordinated and
accountable use of grant funds.
- Reduced districts exposure to developer fees
through analysis of billing practices, resulting in $78,000 in reduced
- Implemented a district quarterly reporting process
to measure progress made in addressing deficiencies in fiscal, administrative
operations as outlined in the report.
- Improved structure of agenda items to be considered
by Board of Education.
Assisted the district with implementation of the following
- Development of District goals and priorities for the
2003-04 school year.
- Installation of Electronic data collection system software
for budget development.
- Consolidation of the Office of Grants and Federal Staff
into a single office.
- Determined the optimal staffing complement to reduce
overstaffing in the district and a revised Table of Organization.
- Established a review process for procurement of services.
Strategic Initiatives planned include, but are not
- Planning is underway to establish a Renaissance School
zone in the district, to link new school construction with efforts to
build and restore the community.
- Planning is underway to implement a professional development
leadership program for principals and administrators which include two
career tracksMPA program with a concentration in educational policy
and leadership, and a leadership training academy in partnership with
Rutgers University, Camden, The Princeton Center for Leadership Training
and the New York based Leadership Transformation Group.
- This partnership will provide the district with a unique
opportunity to begin to develop leadership capacity in-house and engage
in succession planning as well as potential to establish the first Urban
Education Leadership Academy in the state designed for principals and