05Letter to State Legislators on Revised Budget Proposal
As a revised budget proposal was released on Wednesday, I was pleased to see that the Democratic proposal rejects the Governor’s plan to transfer liability for the Teachers’ Retirement System to local municipalities. This would be a huge unfunded mandate on our local communities that would be both unfair and difficult to absorb.
I was disappointed, however, to see references to either consolidating, or perhaps eliminating, Superintendents of Schools in certain school districts. As you may be aware, there was a bill raised early in the session that would have permitted certain small districts to operate without a qualified superintendent. That bill was roundly rejected on the evidence of how necessary a superintendent who holds the proper certification is to the proper operation of a school district. The testimony on that bill can be found here. I would also draw your attention to the attached report that details the positive impact that an effective school superintendent has on student achievement.
If the proposal is simply to allow school districts to share superintendents (rather than operate without a superintendent at all), this is already authorized by statute and many small districts do just that.
There are 28 school districts in CT with only one school in the district. Of those districts:
- Sixteen are led by part time superintendents who are paid to work only two days a week.
- Nine are led by regional school district superintendents who are shared with other school districts.
- Only three are led by full time superintendents, and there is nothing that would prevent the boards of education in those districts from making the superintendency part time or sharing a superintendent with another district.
As the budget negotiations continue, I hope that the current, effective educational administrative framework in our local districts is not tampered with. There is little financial benefit to be gained by such a change and great potential harm to the quality of our education system.
As always, I would be happy to answer any questions or provide any additional information that would be helpful.
Very Truly Yours,
Joseph C. Cirasuolo, Ed.D.
Executive Director, CAPSS
McRel Research on Superintendency (PDF download)