WEYMOUTH TOWNSHIP — School officials say they cannot provide answers right now to the public on why the district’s chief of schools was relieved of his duties last week, but are moving ahead to find an interim replacement.
The Weymouth Township Board of Education voted last Thursday not to renew Superintendent and Principal John B. Alfieri’s contract, said President Edward Zebedies Jr.
Attempts to reach Alfieri for comment were unsuccessful.
“We had to make a decision by June 30 of this year or there would have been an automatic renewal of at least three years when his contract expired (June 30, 2020),” Zebedies said. “We opted, for our reasons which we can’t discuss, to relieve him of his administrative duties that evening.”
On Tuesday, during a special meeting, a strong showing of township residents came out to learn why Alfieri was gone, but Zebedies said the decision could result in litigation from Alfieri and he could not discuss the reasons for the removal because they are personnel matters.
“To the best of my knowledge we have not yet been served. However, we don’t know what tomorrow brings,” Zebedies said.
Alfieri, who was hired in July 2017, will continue to be paid through the end of his contract even though he will not be working in the district. According to state records, Alfieri earned a salary of $103,000 as of December 2018.
Weymouth Township, a preschool-eighth grade elementary school in western Atlantic County serving about 150 students, is already under financial pressure this year as it faces thousands of dollars in state aid cuts due to the 2018 school funding overhaul that phases out adjustment aid to districts deemed overfunded.
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Over the winter, Weymouth joined a lawsuit with several other districts against the state over the cuts.
After a town hall meeting with state Senate President Steve Sweeney earlier this month, Weymouth school board member Henry Goldsmith said the district is considering a plan for consolidation with nearby Estell Manor, but is looking for state assistance to fund a feasibility study. The rural district sends its high school students to nearby Buena Regional High School.
The school board on Tuesday decided to begin searching for an interim school leader while it considers its next step in light of the loss of state aid.
Zebedies said a head teacher in the school is currently filling in Alfieri’s role.