SDA Gets a New Chief in McKenna, Larkins Named State Comptroller

Concerns about school-construction agency’s glacial progress on outstanding projects dominates discussion of personnel changes

By John Mooney, Courtesy of NJ Spotlight

Ever in the spotlight, often under fire, the state agency in charge of building and repairing New Jersey’s public schools is about to get a new boss. Gov. Chris Christie last month announced that Marc Larkins, the current chief of the Schools Development Authority (SDA), will move into the state comptroller's slot.

Charles McKenna, currently Christie's top counsel, is headed for the SDA. The move comes as the SDA remains under constant criticism, if not legal challenge, for the slow progress of repairs and construction -- especially in the state’s neediest districts.

In making the announcement, Christie praised Larkins for his leadership of the beleaguered agency over the past four years, even in the face of criticism that too little work has been completed. And he said that incoming SDA executive director McKenna, would be the right fit for continuing the mission.

State legislators were caught by surprise by the move. Several Democrats said they hoped for a fresh start under McKenna, while others worried that the change will only slow work now under way.

Read more at NJSpotlight.com

NJ Spotlight is an issue-driven news website that provides critical insight to New Jersey’s communities and businesses. It is non-partisan, independent, policy-centered and community-minded. 


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