According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in Hartford between 2006-2010 was $28,970; the average per capita income for the same period was $16,798. People living below the poverty rate: 32.1%
Knowing that the rate of concentrated poverty is one of the highest in the nation, it may seem as if something is out of place when the Superintendent — who makes decisions for a student body, most of whom are eligible for free or reduced school lunch — through her lawyers, makes demands for a bonus which is more than what many families in the school district earn in one year.
Though Dr. Kishimoto backed down after receiving criticism for demanding a $15,450 bonus following a failing performance review, the language of her messages to the press indicates a sense of entitlement to a possible $30,000 bonus, regardless of the quality of her work.
But the amount of money being doled out in the form of bonuses does not end with Kishimoto deciding not to pursue one through her lawyers.
For school year 2011-2012, $2,017,080.94 was awarded to a range of Hartford Public School staff for performance related to the Overall School Index. Teachers typically received $2,500 in bonus pay while paraprofessionals and head custodians were given amounts of $1,250.
Principals did not receive the same bonus amount across the system. Principals at Betances Elementary School and OPPortunity High School [sic]received $10,000 apiece. Principals/Acting Principals at Breakthrough II, Breakthrough, Annie Fisher STEM Magnet, Hooker Environmental Sciences Magnet School, Kinsella Magnet, Simpson-Waverly Elementary School, Sports and Medical Sciences Academy, University High School of Science and Engineering, and the Director of Renzulli Academy were given $5,000 each. At Kennelly Elementary School, Pathways to Technology Magnet, Noah Webster Microsociety Magnet, and Wish Elementary School, the principals and deans were given $2,500 each. An administrator at Noah Webster was also given a $5,000 bonus.
This is just those receiving bonuses connected to the Overall School Index, a metric combining CMT and CAPT results in order to rank schools. The lack of research into the OSI system has been a point of criticism.
Additionally, six individuals received “variable pay” — bonuses — totaling $38,976. The Chief Talent Officer was awarded $6,510; Chief Financial Officer, $6,594; Chief Labor and Legal Officer, $6,426; Chief of Staff, $6,720; Chief Advancement Officer (State Representative Kelvin Roldan), $6,300; and Assistant Superintendent, $6,426.
Above this, non-OSI bonuses totaling $92,000 were given to principals, directors, and others for retention, relocation, performance, and other reasons seemingly unrelated to test scores.
In all, $2,148,056.94 were handed out in bonuses for the previous school year.
For school year 2010-2011, the amount of OSI, non-OSI, and variable pay for staff and cabinet came to a total of $1,383,463.25.
For both years combined, bonuses totaled $3,531,520.19.
Reprinted with permission of Kerri Provost, author of the blog RealHartford.
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