A New Top School Administrator Takes The Reigns In Ocean and Monmouth Counties
A new County Executive Schools Superintendent takes the reigns in Ocean and Monmouth counties as municipalities face the fiscal uncertainties brought on by Superstorm Sandy and security concerns that followed the Sandy Hook school shooting massacre.
Joseph Pasiment Jr. of Toms River began serving in mid-January and has been spending much of his time observing schools as well as helping districts craft budgets.
"Certainly Hurricane Sandy is going to have a tremendous impact on school budgets, municipal budgets because the ratable base for many communities isn't there. So it's a big challenge but we're up to it."
Pasiment says school budgets face additional challenges because there's been a paradigm shift in education that incorporates a greater emphasis on student improvement, teacher and principal evaluations as well as a college and career-focused curriculum. He says the budgets must also meet the standards of a community that no longer has a vote.
"The law has now changed in that the taxpayers are not voting on the budgets. Well that puts an added emphasis on preparing the budgets so that it meets all of those standards that the community wants."
With regard to school security, Pasiment says he's met with the man nominated by Governor Christie to be the next Prosecutor of Ocean County. He says Toms River Attorney Joseph Coronato and he agreed on some basic security protocols they want in every school district and he's gotten affirmation of those plans from all the School Superintendents.
"Well now we're going to have security protocols in schools where you're going to have to sign in, you're going to have to report, you're going to have to give them identification, yu're going to have to give them a reason why you need to be in that school building."
Despite future budget restrictions Pasiment remains optimistic about being able to attract quality teachers as more and more educators retire.
"We do have quality salaries out there. The restrictions on the budgets, certainly they have an impact on salaries. Health benefits certainly has an impact on where you go but we're working on that."