A New Jersey appeals court has rejected a challenge by current or former three school superintendents over the state's cap on their pay.

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The lawsuit was brought by superintendents in Passaic, Chatham and Long Hill. The New Jersey Association of School Administrators joined in the suit.

They claimed state education commissioner Christopher Cerf overstepped his authority by implementing the salary cap and ordering contract negotiations suspended between November 2010 and early 2011 when the cap took effect.

The individual superintendents had negotiated contracts that called them to make $40,000 to $50,000 more per year than the cap dictated.

In a unanimous decision, the appellate panel on Thursday upheld Cerf's actions and said they "further the Legislature's goal of controlling excessive spending on administration to facilitate thorough and efficient public education."

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