N.J. Principal Claims She Is Paid $143,156 A Year To Do Nothing

Paula Santana New Jersey principal

Would you complain if you were paid a six figure salary -- and had virtually no responsibilities? Paula Santana, a New Jersey principal, has filed a complaint with the New Jersey Department of Education, alleging her new position -- "principal on assignment" -- has "absolutely no duties or functions." She is being paid $143,156 a year and calls the job "an insult," according to the report by PatersonPress.com.

Santana, who suffers from a respiratory disorder, claims she was transferred to this do-nothing job last July as a result of a conflict with the state district superintendent. In July 2011, she says a "breathing incident" forced her to leave a meeting with the superintendent and then made it difficult for her to attend subsequent follow-up meetings; soon after she says she was subjected to retaliation and received her first poor evaluation in her 30 years working in Paterson, NJ schools, PatersonPress.com reports.

According to her complaint, she was told that in her new job, she'd be responsible for "compliance reporting," an area she had no training in. Once she began the job, her petition says: "...it became clear that she was simply being 'placed out of the way' as the new position has absolutely no duties or functions."

While Santana's description of her job sounds like a classic "rubber room" job, a do-nothing position given to educators to get them out of the classroom, a local education advocacy group leader told the PatersonPress.com that "some of the principals on assignment are working real hard." At the start of this school year, Paterson Public Schools had eight people in the "principal on assignment" position and they were making a total of about $950,000, the web site reported.

Both Santana and the school district declined to comment on Santana's complaint, saying it remained in litigation, PatersonPress.com said.

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She is just concerned that her career has been sidelined, and she is being encouraged to quit on her own. The title leads one to believe that she is just overcome with guilt for taking a large paycheck and not producing anything - this is clearly not the case.

February 18 2013 at 3:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Had to be New Jersey! The land of legislation and litigation! Wow am I sick of paying for this nonsense.

February 12 2013 at 1:22 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Big Deal....We have a President who is paid twice that for doing less than nothing.... moving our economy backwards.....Nothing, would be an improvement !!!!!

February 12 2013 at 12:34 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Iwonder what the gov thinks about that ?

February 12 2013 at 11:49 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

You write articles like this but you shield the names of the responsible state district superintendent that alledgely carried out the retaliation. Your article is part of the erosion of jornalism that is afraid of telling it like it is. Todays journalist are wanting for the honesty and bravery in laying out the truth and let the chips fall where it may.

February 12 2013 at 11:30 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I'll split it with ya...

February 12 2013 at 10:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Now you also know why our Kids in School don't learn nothing for the amount of Money $$ we put into Education.

February 12 2013 at 10:52 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Good for her to complain. Ive never known a teacher or other union worker for that matter to complain about a lack of responsibility or work! WOW

February 12 2013 at 10:48 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

If she had to leave one meeting, and couldn't attend followup meetings ... then what exactly that requires one to be present and attentive is she capable of doing? I'd tend to share her disappointment at being paid $143k to do nothing, but for a different reason ... that's a big disability check! If it were something that has since been resolved then they'd be foolish not to put her back in a responsible position, if not ... we're back to square one, why are they paying her $143k?

February 12 2013 at 10:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Free salary and we get 'school' tax (Look at property Tax Document)...

February 12 2013 at 9:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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