While the majority of the Clinton Township school board has finally turned the corner toward integrity and transparency, one man continues to drive the school district off the road. School board president Jim Dincuff has again and again tested the patience and credulity of teachers, parents, taxpayers, and other public officials, while he has again and again put the district and the township in one ditch after another.
Meanwhile, the board’s constituents — and many of the new board members — have again and again made it clear they don’t want to go where Dincuff is taking them.
Why is Jim Dincuff still board president?
The damage continues
- Jim Dincuff oversaw the hiring of superintendent Kevin Carroll, who earned the only public sanction ever issued by the Clinton Township teachers — an 81% vote of no confidence.
- Dincuff attempted to grant Carroll an early contract renewal — until parents condemned the effort and demanded a proper public process.
- Dincuff nonetheless attempted to renew Carroll yet again, a few months later, then engineered a “polite” cover-up of the public’s rejection — and permitted Carroll to withdraw his request for a new contract.
- Dincuff has managed the most acrimonious teachers’ contract negotiations in Clinton Townshp history, resorting to shouting his terms and recriminations at teachers in the middle of a school board hearing on another topic entirely. Dincuff has left teachers hanging in the breeze without a contract while his “negotiating committee” destroyed teacher morale.
- Dincuff approved lavish raises for administrators before restrictive statutes took effect, then claimed that new rules prohibited similar deals for teachers.
- Dincuff also oversaw the “polite resignation” of former superintendent Elizabeth Nastus, whose legacy is an oversized $40 million middle school project for which taxpayers will foot the bill for decades to come — after offering her yet another contract renewal. When Nastus announced her resignation, Dincuff asked the town council to leave an extra $160,000 in the rejected school budget — to pay off her golden parachute. Dincuff had to be taken to the county superintendent by town officials to force him to reduce Nastus’s payout. (Nastus quickly moved on to DelVal High School, and just as quickly left there, ahead of the torches and pitchforks.)
- Rather than fire business administrator Patricia Leonhardt for mismanagement of last summer’s tax-relief award, Dincuff granted her an excuse: “Ms. Patricia Leonhardt misspoke,” and let her resign quietly instead. (Does anyone wonder how inept school managers get recycled from one district to the next? This is Board of Education Human Resources Management 101. Cover it up and make sure everyone can keep making a lot of money.)
Dincuff is in control
Jim Dincuff controls the hiring of yet another business administrator and superintendent for the Clinton Township school district. “On behalf of the board?” On behalf of the very same public that rejected Dincuff’s last hire? On behalf of the teachers who had no confidence in Dincuff’s last hire?
Fresh off a quarter-million dollar tax heist, and fresh off the mismanagement of public hearings for administartors’ contract renewals, Jim Dincuff is now poised to oversee the appointment of yet another disastrous administration to run Clinton Township’s schools. Jim Dincuff will once again leave his mark on education, teacher morale, and the future of almost two thousand children.
The damage continues
School board members are elected to protect the interests of their community — not to promote the errors of their board president.