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Monday, June 6, 2016


This e-mail below will make for some intersting reading for many. Hartfortd City Councilman apparently first sent the e-mail below to voice his displeasure with several issues before the Hartford Board of Education.

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 


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.

Agreed, which is why the budget for professional development and travel has been slashed by approximately an additional $450,000 and all travel will have to be centrally approved.  This money will help preserve jobs in schools, particularly in neighborhood schools.

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.

To the extent we are talking about administrators, most of them are unionized and their salaries are fixed by their respective CBA’s, just as the salaries of most city workers are so fixed.  The administrators we are referring to all typically have advanced degrees and many have doctorates and their salaries are not out of line with what their colleagues in surrounding systems are making and are usually less than what their colleagues at CREC make.  

Moreover, the fringe benefits these employees receive are about 65%of  what their colleagues at city hall receive, with the City’s fringe rate being at about 55 cents for every dollar of salary and the Board’s being about 36.  Thus, a Board administrator who makes $100,000 in salary costs the Board about $135,000 while a city administrator who makes $85,000 costs the City about $131,750.  Moreover, unlike many city departments, well-compensated employees at the Board are salaried, rather than hourly, meaning we don’t have the overtime issues that are crippling the HPD’s budget (to name just one), nor do we have issues with employees using overtime to bump their base pay for pension purposes.

Frankly, it is disingenuous for you, or anyone else at City Hall to criticize the compensation structure of the Board when the City’s is and has been for a decade totally out of control and virtually nothing has been done to correct it.

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.

This is perhaps the second most disingenuous thing any elected official has said in the last 5 years, an accolade for which there is considerable competition.  The Council had no intention of appropriating more than the legal minimum.  The truth is this.  In FY 17 the City will appropriate approximately $93m to the Board of the City’s own money.  In FY 12 the City appropriated $93.7m of the city’s own money to the Board.  In FY 17 the City will spend $553m,  In FY 12 it spent $545m.  The City has, as is its right, engaged in long-term strategy of funding education at the minimum even as its own spending increased.  It has nothing to do with “trusting” the Board.  It has everything to do with maximizing the revenue the City has available for what it believes are its priorities, which includes only the minimum investment in education. 

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.

This is the most disingenuous.  City government – which includes you – has made clear there is now no money for an MLK reconstruction, despite a decade of promises that a rebuild was “just around the corner.”  When I became BOE Chair in 2014 I told Council during the budget hearing that MLK would either have to be rebuilt or closed.  You  were at that meeting, but apparently weren’t listening.

Nothing that is happening should come as a surprise.  The City’s funding priorities, including the baseball stadium, are what is driving the decisions vis-a-vis MLK.  Please take ownership of the government of which you have been a part for the better part of a decade and stop blaming the Board for the City’s lack of financial discipline and its poor priorities, especially vis-à-vis the CIP. 

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.

The only “question” is the one you raise rhetorically.  Our meeting was noticed in conformity with the law.  It is a public and lawful meeting.  Even you – with your total ignorance of and disregard for procedure -  must see that.  As for the Council not receiving notice, I will note that notice of meetings is given to the City Clerk, who reports to 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.

I agree there is outrage, and I agree that it is warranted.  I will say nothing more on this subject, particularly with respect to the law and/or who may or may not have broken it,  until #1 HPD makes clear its own investigation is done and #2 the Child Advocate has issued her report on our policies and procedures. This is a serious issue and it will be treated seriously, and not as a debating point, especially in the context of budget discussions, with which it has no connection.

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?

There is nothing hasty about this meeting.  As you note, it is 3 weeks later than normal.  As we always do, we held a public hearing to solicit input and we received plenty of it.  As we always do, we will enact the budget at a special meeting called for that purpose.  Nothing unfair nor procedurally irregular is occurring. 

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?

If you would take the time to actually examine our budget you will see that central office exclusive of transportation took a much greater share of the cuts as a % of spending than did the schools.  Indeed, the most senior staff was cut by 1/3 and the rest have foregone their raises this year.  Teachers, social workers, etc. will receive their contractually-agreed upon raises in conformity with their CBA’s.   Moreover, as noted above, central office administration bore a far larger share of the cuts than did any school as a % of spending.    

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?

The Board, not the State,  is arbiter of the interpretation, applicability, and enforcement of the Board’s own policies.  As for the alleged abuse issue, see my response above.

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?

I won’t dignify this with a response, especially in so far as it is a threat toward the appointed members that, if they pass this budget, you will not support their reappointment, should that occur.  The reality – which you have, for the better part of a decade, stubbornly refused to recognize – is that the Council does not determine how the Board spends money. Under the law, Council’s only role is to determine the amount of money the City will provide, which it has done. It is now for the Board to determine how the money will be spent.

This is by specific design of the General Statutes, precisely so that grandstanding municipal politicians like you cannot manipulate school finances and expenditures to serve their own political agendas while not having accountability for the results. Indeed, I acknowledge that, if it was up to you, poor children (which is to say, other peoples’ children),  would have no school choice in Hartford and that they would be forced to attend the school closest to them, regardless of its quality or suitability; all because of your ideological inflexibility.  Fortunately for those poor children, it is not up to you.

Larry Deutsch, Hartford City Council

Finally, I am still waiting for the answer to the question I posed to you during the budget hearing; i.e. will you forgo your annual salary in this time of financial crisis?  The members of the Board serve without compensation because they believe that public service is exactly that.  Will you join us in making a statement to our City that its leaders should serve, rather than be served?



Alyssa said...

Hey Rich -- I understand the answers (don't agree with some, but that's besides the point) but way too heavy on the bullying snark towards Larry, especially for a Chair.

On another note, I appreciate the call for volunteer service. Council salaries and staff are a holdover from the days when they were actively engaged in running the City. Many understand and certainly appreciate the heavy volunteer time commitment required at BOE.

Charter change for a variety of reasons is inevitable. Hopefully that can be accomplished in the next year or so.

Anonymous said...

Richard Wareing is correct. Perhaps not as diplomatic as he could be but accurate nonetheless. Deustch should be paying attention to his own house and clean it before he goes after others. And Wareing doesn't even have a paid assistant who collects a pension like Deutsch and his fellow council members have.

Hartford high meatloaf said...

I encourage anyone interested in realizing how messed up the school system is to take a stroll though the halls of Hartford High and watch the show.
Teachers basically yelling at kids to go to class, while other students listen to headphones and use their crll phones whenever they want.
I tell you that zero teaching and learning go on in an environment without enforced rules. Why are cell phones and head phones even allowed in the school during learning hours ?
Bathrooms have to be locked to avoid destruction, while the library is untouched.
These kids get breakfast, lunch, and dinner, yet the mess hall is destroyed by these students on a daily basis.

There is zero accountability in the schools
And the cherry on the cake is the removal of hartford police school resource officers. Community policing starts with exposing these impressionable minds to teaxh them the simple rules of society.

Anonymous said...

Larry loses credibility when he placates neighborhood people in demanding MLK School remain open. It is not worth it. Population is down. Hartford has no money to. Renovate

Anonymous said...


Is it the fault of these kids or the fault of wince they came? From parent(s) so dysfunctional as to be good at one thing; pumping babies out of their bellies.and no follow-up encouragement to learn. . And since the parents have cases of ADD, no wonder their brood can't sit quietly and read a whole sentence without losing concentration.

Using police in the school is a horrible waste of valuable asset. Hire back the king of ha'll guards that were there when I went to school their. They were tough and were not afraid o mix it up.

Anonymous said...

Hartford High Meatloaf - So true which is why Larry should not be wasting Wareing's time and let Wareing find out why the schools are in such disarray. Wareing and Supt should walk the halls of our neighborhood high schools during lunch periods its a free for all. There is no way learning is happening in our neighborhood high schools. That is why I don't understand why the Supt and her high paying pals are at 960 Main street while learning is not happening in our schools. BTW close MLK we don't need it. Find another school and change its name to MLK if it is about man. Actually how about changing Milner school to: The Mayor Thirman Milner-Dr. Martin Luther King School and send the MLK students to Milner.

Anonymous said...

Hartford high meatloaf,,,,,Having been born ,raised and employed in Hartford I rarely am shocked BUT a couple years ago I responded to a medical emergency in the cafeteria at lunchtime at Hartford High.What I saw can only be described as "UNCIVILIZED BEHAVIOR" ,there was no respect shown for EMS personel while tending to the patient ,we were greeted with loud questions and "students" crowding our scene all the while recording us on cell phones. When patient was packaged I had the opportunity to survey the room,,,,IT LOOKED LIKE THEY HAD A FOOD FIGHT ! It was a disgrace and another example of wasted tax money in the hope of raising someone else's child. A member of the staff said this behavior iand waste of food is routine. The comical aspect of it for me was that these filthy little animals where wearing uniforms!!!!! What another waste of money,I thought it was supposed to bring them a sense of pride?

SYFROYH said...

Rich Wareing is right and Larry is off, way off.

General Grievous said...

Entertaining reading, but only one conclusion, they and the Hartford taxpayers are all losers.

The inmates are running the urban school asylums (former EHHS teacher here). As bad as the asylums can be, it's more sad what some of these kids go home to. There's a savage, neglectful, abandoned existence for many. The petty food fight between Deutsch and Wareing is confirmation of a lack of urgency by the city 'leaders', the same as we see with the acceptance of city gun crime. Weak and unconcerned leadership, more interested in their own job security.

Ditto for Bronin, who as best as I can tell, hasn't fired a single person off the inept / corrupt Stadium Authority.

Anonymous said...

Questions for Mr. Wareing: Exactly how many positions are being eliminated from Central Office? People want specifics.
You say that senior staff will forgive their raises. Does this include the Superintendent? Is she giving back her raise?
Kevin: Yes, sadly it does seem to take your blog postings to get people to pay attention. Thank you for doing what you do!

Anonymous said...

The bottom line is this---the public wants to be assured that someone is monitoring how the Board of Ed is spending our tax money. $4000 fish tanks, $61,000 trips and thousands of dollars spent on tix for XL center events like a monster truck show is not where Board of Ed funds should be going. (Yes, one magnet school principal spent thousands of dollars on XL Center tix that were given away to staff and families on a first come first served basis---not based on need.) We need to know that all funds are being used to maximize student learning. Someone needs to be minding the store more closely!

Ernie said...

I think it is Mr. Wareing who is disingenuous. We understand that the administrators' salaries are set by CBAs. We take exception to the sheer number of administrators that it takes to operate the schools.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion Larry is right. Mr. Wareing is rude and disrespectful. That's not the way to fix things.

Anonymous said...

I hope Richard Wearing reads this or someone tells this idiot about this post. How dare this bum compare his scandalous BOE issue with HPD overtime issue? I would like to see this bum put the uniform on and walk in HPD's shoes for one day. This bum would not last! This bum mentions HPD retirement bump those cops work for that so they can live a comfortable life with their families. Unlike bums like him and city hall who can work 4 years and retire with as much money if not more money for doing nothing but ripping the city off blindly. And might I add they might even retire with better health benefits than HPD. So yes... you bum..don't you ever compare your scandalous issues with HPD. I hope you reply to this. You low life.

Anonymous said...

That's bc these Principals sit back and watch the show.

Ask the Principal of LGA Academy Mr. Jose Colon why he was allowing young girls to sleep in sleeping bags in the behavior techs room during the day? Then the story comes out and he magically goes out on paid leave. Then the case gets covered up. Don't tell me he didn't know these things were going on in his school when he was friends with him! Let's start exposing this man and the other Principals who are hurting our children!!!!!

Let's Go Hartford said...

Larry Deutch and Richard Wareing are both ASSES. They both should do us all a favor and go away. Neither one of your houses are in order. However, Richard you being the BOE Chair your house is worse and it is because of you. Step down and let somebody who really care about kids and not their ego and being quoted in the paper lead. By the way when you leave take the Supt YOU personally picked and brag about with you. ALL three of you are worthless. All are idiots and are doing the public a disservice.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 4:18 --- Richard Wareing - don't waste your time on, we know the coward will only speak when there is a reporter around. I am still waiting to hear back from Craig Stallings and or his wife. His wife promised that he would go on record and tell us all that he knew. NOT!!! The reason why is that his wife didn't know what Craig knew and now that she has found out about her hubby all we hear are crickets.

Anonymous said...

Let's Go Hartford 12:26 --- Don't you know that Hartford Public Schools is Richard's toy and he only uses Superintendent Narvaez as his puppet. She makes NO decisions, he is the one behind the curtain pulling the Supt's strings. The Harvard boy has never had power and is using our kids and teachers as his game. Never cared and never will care about Hartford. I bet his kids are not in Hartford Schools.