Proposed Hartford School Budget Adds $1.1 Million In New Jobs
By VANESSA DE LA TORRE
April 04, 2012
HARTFORD — — Superintendent Christina Kishimoto's $400.1 million budget proposal requests eight more teachers, but it also includes eliminating two principal positions.
Administrators attributed one of the principal positions to Hartford Public High School's Freshman Academy, which will be gone next academic year. Ninth-graders will instead attend the high school's other specialized academies.
Kishimoto told the school board Tuesday night that the Asian Studies Academy at Dwight/Bellizzi has had co-principals, and one of those positions would also be eliminated.
Overall, the 2012-13 budget would fund about 3,124 full-time positions, including an extra $1.1 million for 23.4 new jobs. Among the additions are 10 child development associates, four directors, two deans, a nurse, a gym and pool assistant, a clerical staffer, a technical support employee and 2.5 full-time paraprofessionals.
"They're realizing that paras and the jobs they do are necessary for the success of the kids," Shellye Davis, co-president of the 363-member Hartford Federation of Paraprofessionals, said Wednesday after learning that her union was not targeted for cuts. "That's a good thing."
But some board members lingered on the line items. Chairman Matthew Poland said he was concerned about the proposed cut of five behavioral intervention specialists, "given the social problems we're having in the city."
Other staffing cuts include four school and family support providers, one assistant principal, a social worker and a part-time custodian.
Kishimoto explained that each Hartford school creates its own budget, which includes staffing decisions. "While they may have reduced in an area that is critical," she said, "they may have increased in another area that ... expands that role."
Under the proposal, the central office would add an executive director of data management and analysis. Kishimoto also plans to restructure the Office of Learning Support Services into the Office of Early Literacy and Parent Engagement, which will include an assistant superintendent who will focus on pre-kindergarten to grade 3.
Kishimoto's Third Grade Promise pledges that current Hartford kindergartners will be reading at grade level by the time they complete third grade.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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