Jersey City Superintendent Lyles receives new 4-year contract with schools

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Jersey City Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marcia Lyles received a new four-year contract with the district at last night’s board of education meeting – despite the fact the board never voted on the measure. 

Marcia Lyles

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

BOE Vice President Marilyn Roman told Hudson County View that the way board counsel Ramon Rivera explained the situation to the board, five members must be eligible to vote on a superintendent’s contract.

While seven trustees were present for the meeting: Roman, Vidya Gangadin, Ellen Simon, Sangeeta Ranade, Micheline Amy, Jessica Daye and Joel Torres, three were ineligible to vote due to family members who work in the district.

Roman explained that for that reason, herself, Daye and Torres were exempt from voting on the amended resolution – which asked the board if they would reject the renewal of Lyles’ contract.

Since only four members were eligible to vote, the measure did not receive a call to vote.

A retired 43-year educator who has had her differences with Lyles in the past, Roman expressed disdain for the way the new contract was granted.

“We’re now going to work for somebody who won by default,” she said, also claiming that the board refused to call a special meeting before the end of the year where Trustees Gerald Lyons and/or Lorenzo Richardson could have been present.

The board had to make a decision on Lyles contract by December 31 of this year.

“As an educator, I wouldn’t want to work in a place where no one even voted for me. Still, in terms of myself, I will work with anybody,” she added, stressing that the children of the school district need to come first.

Roman also said she was unaware of the exact details of Lyles’ new deal at the moment.

Mark Ann Dickar, Lyles chief of staff, is not in the office today and no one else from her office was immediately available to comment.

6 COMMENTS

  1. These kids need to be eating breakfast in the Cafeteria from 8:00am to 8:30am. Never mind eating breakfast up stairs in the classroom. Because it is wasting learning time. They are eating breakfast like they in at IHOP.

  2. Mr. Heinis,

    Can you explain more fully why a failure to vote results in an automatic contract renewal?

    Here’s what Superintendent Lyles’ contract actually says:

    Renewal or Non-Renewal

    “The Board agrees that by December 31, 2015 it shall notify the Superintendent in writing whether it desires to renew this Agreement for an additional period of time, and of the terms and conditions proposed for that period. Failure to notify the Superintendent by the date of an intention to renew will mean an offer of renewal is not being made.”

    Seems like the Board not voting to renew would mean that the Superintendent is NOT renewed.

    Something seems very fishy here.

    • As of right now I can’t. I don’t know if you saw but Augie Torres wrote as if this is a done deal that’s going to stick. I’ll see what else I can gather tomorrow.

  3. The board need only invoke the “docrine of necessity” to allow votes. Apparently,for some reason, those in the know may not have wanted the other board members to vote.
    A contract must be approved via 5 votes.
    Lyle’s contract was not placed on the agenda. Only board approved contracts are enforceable.
    JC BOE might prefer to get a second opinion before issuing press releases.

    • Bob, while it’s possible the contract may be challenged in the future, it’s a done deal for now. And none of this information came via a press release, as you noticed, Ms. Roman wasn’t very complimentary of the way the contract was awarded.

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