Commissioner of Education Dianna Wentzel’s decision to shift Kelly Donnelly from serving as the agency’s PR person to Chief of Staff apparently comes with a $25,700 pay raise despite the fact that Donnelly has no education experience and her only education policy experience has been as the press person for the State Department of Education over the past two and a half years.
At the same time, with a Special Session of the Connecticut General Assembly scheduled for next week, today’s CT Mirror headline reads, Malloy’s ‘across-the-board’ cuts target education, town aid and social services. The CT Mirror explains,
To offset new taxes that have rankled business groups, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proposed trimming up to 1.5 percent of discretionary spending in the new state budget. But the administration’s proposal shows the bulk of the cuts would be likely to fall on education, municipal aid, health care and social services.
And a key legislator has warned that most of those areas could face even deeper cuts once the new fiscal year is underway. That’s because the new budget relies much more heavily than past budgets on undefined savings — making it likely that the governor will need to order midyear cuts.
While Malloy proposes cuts to education, yesterday’s Wait, What? post, Kelly Donnelly to become Chief of Staff for Connecticut Department of Education, reported that,
The key role of Chief of Staff for Malloy’s State Department of Education will go to Kelly Donnelly who was brought in from New Jersey in December 2012 to serve as former Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor’s PR person.
Although Donnelly has no work experience in public education and her only education policy experience is as the agency’s communications person, multiple sources confirm that Commissioner of Education Dianna Wentzel will by-pass numerous qualified professional staff to hand the Chief of Staff duties to Donnelly.
Donnelly was hired as Pryor’s Communication Director with a starting salary of $82,000.
In a follow up story the CT Post wrote,
“Donnelly’s salary will increase in her new job from $82,000 to $118,000.”
Actually, as a result of the pay raises ordered by Governor Dannel Malloy, Donnelly, who is listed as an Education Staff Assistant, is presently making $92,293.25 per year.
Assuming the $118,000 the CT Post is reporting is correct, Donnelly’s promotion to Chief of Staff comes with a $25,700 boost in pay.