By David Madden

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) – The state appointed superintendent of Camden’s public schools has updated residents on his 18 month plan to improve things in the district.

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Paymon Rouhanifard considers his five promises made in January a work in progress. This was his first quarterly update on what’s called the “Camden Commitment”.

Promise number one: creating safer schools. There’s a new five point safety plan for every school, with police and city officials involved in its development and implementation.

“We need to improve the state of security technology in our schools. We still have in some of our schools outdated technology and we are in the process of updating.”

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And they’re looking closely at suspension policies. At the same time, they’re trying a program that rewards students for doing the right thing in school.

Rouhanifard is also overseeing the layoff of some 400 district workers to make ends meet, with half of them expected to be teachers. Rouhanifard insists the district is getting enough money to educate kids properly — about 24 grand a year per student — it just needs to be spent better.


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