The BOE Chair,Richard Wareing replied back with a rather sharply worded e-mail. Wareing's responses are in red below.
It is also interesting to note that many of the issues raised by Dr Deutsch were first reported and raised here on "We the People"
Does it really take blog postings for people to may attention?
From: Deutsch, Larry
Sent: Monday, June 06, 2016 7:24 AM
Subject: Open letter to Board members: can you read it before Monday meeting? -- from Council member Dr. L. Deutsch
ATTACHED and below
OPEN LETTER to MEMBERS OF HARTFORD BOARD OF EDUCATION
With all the controversy these days about budgets for the City of Hartford, and the Hartford Public Schools in particular, it may be helpful to convey, again, some views of many citizens from a City Council standpoint.
1. Many are outraged about recent expenditures of over $61,000 for out-of-state travel while paraprofessionals, teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, and other front-line school staff suffer layoffs.
2. Even more, many reject proposed spending for over 100 employees within the Public School system for salaries in the $120,000 to $150,000 range for directors, deans, associates, and deputies, with the Superintendent and several others still higher, for a total well over $12 Million – while these paraprofessionals, teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, and other front-line school staff suffer layoffs.
3. It should be clear that the City Council appropriation for the Board of Education was kept to the minimum legally required. Council and public members rejected such wasteful spending. There was awareness that the Board had taken the unusual step of failing to adopt its budget until AFTER City Council made that allocation. Despite an attempt to increase Council appropriation IF it were guaranteed to benefit directly the children and neighborhood schools and staff members, it was said that the Board and Superintendent “could not be trusted” to adhere to its stated budget in the future.
4. There is community outrage about Board and Superintendent failures to follow policies for school closures and student transfers related to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School – with neither a plan for its restoration NOR for relocation of students into a temporary and satisfactory building.
5. There are questions about whether this “public” meeting on morning of June 6, 2016 is legal, allowing for attendance with fair and adequate notice to public and City Council.
6. There is outrage about failure to rectify a pattern of “poor judgment” with risk to school children from an employed staff member, AND failure by supervisors, including a chief attorney, to respond as legally required reporters of suspected abuse, with suspicion of cover-up.
Is it too late to correct these problems?
If this hasty meeting today (June 6) proceeds now to final budget adaptation, will there be a chance first for additional public comments?
Are Board members aware that justifying the current salary structure as ‘market rate’ – with some administrators receiving excessively high salaries while paraprofessionals, teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, and others receive layoffs – is unacceptable?
For violations of Board policy on school closings and suspected abuse reporting, are members calling for full disclosure, or face investigation by outside State legal authorities?
As they make budget and policy decisions, do all Board members seeking re-appointment or re-election realize that these positions themselves are at risk?
Larry Deutsch, Hartford City Council