Nobody said it was going to be easy.

Nobody said it was not going to create a lot of turnover.

But the caps on school superintendents' salaries were the right thing to do when they were implemented by the Christie administration in 2010, and they are still the right thing to do.

Despite the whining.

State Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan, D-Middlesex, has introduced a bill that would prohibit the state from capping the salaries that individual districts pay their superintendents.

Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-Salem, Gloucester, is calling the caps "a big mistake."

And Thomas Baruffi, the superintendent of both the Linwood school district and the Mainland Regional High School district, has announced that he will retire, rather than accept the $32,500 pay cut that would take effect when his current, pre-cap contract expires.

The caps, which were imposed by state regulation and upheld by the appellate court, limit superintendents' salaries to $125,000 in the smallest districts and to $175,000 in the largest districts, with some added pay allowed for superintendents supervising more than one district and/or districts that include a high school.

You can't blame someone for objecting to a pay cut. Baruffi is currently making $190,000; under the caps, his next contract would be limited to $157,500.

But the notion - expressed by Sweeney and others - that no one wants these jobs at $157,500 is absurd. Really? In this economy? Perhaps those who are or who plan to be school superintendents need to adjust their expectations to a new reality - as so many in the private sector have had to do.

The caps were imposed because of the obscene amounts of money that so many districts were paying superintendents. Many superintendent salaries in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Ocean counties hovered around $200,000 before the caps were instituted. North Jersey salaries were even higher. The governor of the entire state only makes $175,000.

Sweeney says the caps have created a situation where 25 percent of the superintendents in the state are serving in a temporary capacity. But that's just the result of poor management and poor planning by school boards, if you ask us. The original estimates were that more than half of the state's superintendents would see their salaries cut when their pre-cap contracts expired. The point was that, when fully implemented, the caps would save taxpayers $9.8 million a year.

And that's still the point.

Baruffi has also said that he recommends Linwood and Mainland Regional abolish their arrangement to share a superintendent. There's just too much work for one person, he said.

Again ... really?

Taxpayers are fed up. Sharing superintendents and reining in their pay to more reasonable levels are two key ways of lowering school taxes. That's the world superintendents live in now. And they'd best get used to it.

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