It’s beyond embarrassing. Last night, Tuesday, December 13, 2022, former Atlantic City Superintendent of Public Schools Barry Caldwell failed to receive the required number of votes to be rehired.

A late agenda item was added in an attempt to hire Caldwell to the position of Acting Director of Operations at a salary of $ 600 per-day.

The Caldwell item was not on the original Atlantic City Board of Education meeting agenda.

It was sprung on the board with no advanced notice provided. Although the board was not completely surprised by the attempt, as we broke word of this proposed measure on December 1, 2022.

If you missed our previous coverage, here is a link to catch-up.

Read More: Former Atlantic City Schools Superintendent Is Poised To Return

La’Quetta Small, Atlantic City Superintendent of Public Schools had the board secretary read the Caldwell hiring resolution, having never shared it with the board of education in advance.

The board voted 5-2 last night in favor of hiring Caldwell. Atlantic City Board of Education Member John Devlin and the Ventnor City Representative, Michael Cupeles voted against rehiring Caldwell.

This is the latest example as to why the Small administration wants to bounce the Ventnor representative off of the Atlantic City Board of Education.

Without the Ventnor City representative on the board, Caldwell’s hiring would have been approved.

Following the vote, La’Quetta Small and even the school board solicitor believed that the Caldwell hiring was approved.

They were wrong, as  20-year Atlantic City Board of Education Member John Devlin took them both to “school,” by advising them that the Caldwell scheme had failed, as 6 votes (a majority) of the board was required for it to pass.

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Additionally, the proposed Caldwell $ 600 per-day salary was only $ 50 per-day less than a former interim superintendent was paid. The current New Jersey state monitor, who oversees the Atlantic City Public Schools presently earns $ 650 per-day.

After last night’s board meeting, we asked Devlin to comment on exactly what transpired and why it happened.

"This is a classic sign from the community that this administration can not force its will upon them. To add a resolution the day of the meeting … at the midnight hour, is absolutely ridiculous. To add this to the agenda without consulting with the board is not only unprofessional, but it's incompetent,” said Devlin.

“The superintendent thinks she can just put anything on the board agenda and it's gonna pass, not under this board,” said Devlin.

It remains unclear whether the Caldwell rehiring measure will be brought back at the next board meeting. With 3 Atlantic City board members absent last night, the one additional vote required to hire Caldwell is likely available.

What is not in doubt, is how embarrassing this rejection was for the immediate past Superintendent (Caldwell), who failed to get the votes required to hold the acting director of operations position within the district.


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