Hartford Leaders scheduled to waste another $650,000 in taxpayer funds

Last week’s Hartford Board of Education meeting has been re-scheduled for tonight.

At tonight’s meeting, the Hartford Board of Education, led by Mayor Pedro Segarra, is expected to throw an additional $650,940 at Teach for America.

Despite the fact that there are hundreds of unemployed and underemployed Connecticut residents who are certified teachers and hundreds of other Connecticut residents who have recently graduated or will be graduating from Connecticut’s public and independent colleges with teaching degrees, Hartford’s Mayor Segarra will likely give Teach for America a $650,000 “finders-fee” to bring in up to 210, mostly out-of-state, recruits to take teaching positions in Hartford public school classrooms.

The action being taken by these Hartford leaders is an extraordinary and disturbing statement about their fundamental lack of commitment to Connecticut citizens.

Instead of providing jobs for people here at home, these “leaders” will use scarce Connecticut taxpayer dollars to hire an out-of-state, nonprofit company who will bypass qualified Connecticut residents, recruit primarily out-of-state people, give them five weeks of training and then place them in a Hartford classroom where they will receive the same salary and benefits as a Connecticut resident who have gone through one of our college’s teacher training programs.

This vote isn’t about whether Teach for America is a good program, it is about how Connecticut’s elected and appointed officials are using public funds.

In her memo to the Hartford Board of Education,Hartford Superintendent Kishimoto writes,

“Teach for America recruits teachers from the top colleges and universities across the country.  Each teacher, corps member, commits to teach for two years in one of 39 urban and rural regions across the United States. Teach for America’s mission is to recruit, select, train and support outstanding recent college graduates to serve as highly qualified and effective teachers in urban schools.”

TFA may be a great program, at least for its corps members.  With a mere five weeks of training, TFA recruits are paid the same rate as Hartford’s fully trained beginning teachers and the federal government allows the TFA recruits to write-off their federal student loans for each year they teach.

However, as noted in an earlier blog, 136,500 Connecticut residents remain unemployed including many trained teachers who already hold Connecticut teacher certificates.

Furthermore, as a direct result of Governor Dannel Malloy’s policies, there are about 8,200 FEWER jobs in state and local government since he took office.  Those jobs disappeared as a result of targeted budget cuts to various government programs, including education at the state and local level.

In addition, hundreds of new Connecticut residents have graduated over the past couple of years or will be graduating from the University of Connecticut, Connecticut State University and other Connecticut colleges and universities after completing four and five-year teacher preparation programs.

These students and their families have spent tens of thousands of dollars to prepare for a teaching career in Connecticut.

But rather than give unemployed teachers and the fully-trained recent graduates an opportunity to get a job in Connecticut’s capital city and contribute to the well-being of their home state, the Hartford Board of Education appears ready to throw away another $650,000 on Teach for America’s fees to recruit non-Connecticut residents.

Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, Windham, New London and other cities have already paid out millions of dollars in taxpayer funds to Teach for America so that they can recruit and place inexperienced teachers in our state’s urban classrooms.

The fact that Governor Malloy and Education Commissioner Pryor haven’t stepped in to put Connecticut citizens first is even more outrageous.

Once again, we are left to ask, are there any elected or appointed state or municipal officials who will stand up for Connecticut’s families?

You can contact Hartford Board of Education members by using the following links;

Our Board of Education members include:
Matthew K. Poland, Chairman
Robert Cotto, Jr., Secretary
Honorable Mayor Pedro Segarra, Board Member
Jose Colón-Rivas, Board Member
Richard F. Wareing, Board Member
Beth A. Taylor, Ph, D., Board Member
Craig Stallings, Board Member
Michael Brescia, Board Member
  • Linda174

    Newark: 700 teachers may be laid off, many replaced by TFA


  • cindy

    This is all too frustrating. Studies are put out that teachers are ill-prepared to teach the next generation, and yet, we can fill the void with no-prepared teachers. Absolutely sickening.

    How is this country experiencing the level of cognitive dissonance that is going on???

  • Mary Gallucci

    Many former TFA are responsible for these policies of firing or laying off traditionally-trained teachers and then doing massive hirings of TFA–a former Broad Resident, CT. Dept. of Education employee, and assistant to Steven Adamowski, Gabrielle Ramos, is currently part of the reformy leadership in Newark that is behind the firing of teachers: http://bobbraunsledger.com/cami-to-newark-parents-dont-worry-we-know-best/
    Ramos is, of course, an ex-TFA. Note also the role of Education Pioneers–they should be called Privateers or just plain pirates–this group is well-represented in Connecticut now–and Adamowski has one of their interns following him.
    Don’t be surprised to see the “Newark policy” introduced in the Commissioner’s Network and Alliance Districts–unless we stop them.

    • cindy

      And when the overthrow is complete, the indicators for success will change and/or be redefined by those who are orchestrating all of this.

      • educationmatters

        The teachers will be young and beholden. The unions will dissipate and pay and benefits will be cut in half – or less. And the unions will be hand in hand with the Democrat leadership who march them to their doom.

  • Sleepless in Bridgeport

    And as usual, The Silence of the Lambs, from the CEA and AFT. In the end they will have wrought their demise upon themselves. And the schools of education in Connecticut stand idle while their reason for being disappears. The families who have spent a fortune on 5 years of what amounts to a waste of time and money to earn a worthless education degree need to file a class action against Malloy, Pryor, and their whole gang of houligans.

  • jschmidt2

    Until the taxpayer and voter looks at Federal and State funds as their own tax money from their pocket, nothing will change. The attitude is it is just other people’s money. Waste and fraud are rampant in governrment.

    • jonpelto

      Scary jschmidt2 but we seem to be agreeing more and more often….

      • jschmidt2

        There can be a happy medium. That;s why I’m always in favor of divided government. It works much better when no side is happy.