The Hartford Public Schools department plans to cut hundreds of positions amid the Board of Education's projected $20 million deficit next year, Board of Education head Richard Wareing told NBC Connecticut.
Anticipating a budget shortfall, Wareing told NBC Connecticut that school administrators plan to cut more than 200 positions in the district.
The cuts include five of the most senior positions in the district which, would save $1 million per year in salaries and benefits, according to the sources who spoke with NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters, who broke the story, earlier on Wednesday.
Other cuts will impact teachers, administrators and other staff which will likely mean the consolidation of schools.
“There has been no formal notice of layoffs provided by the superintendent’s office to date. Typically there is a process that also takes into account retirements and turn-over, which have yet to be addressed." Andrea Johnson, president of the Hartford Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 1018, said in a statement.
“Our member educators have long said that there are better choices than cuts to classroom educators and support staff that will hurt students’ educational opportunities."
Hartford government sources told the Troubleshooters the budget shortfall is primarily due to increased costs from collective bargaining agreements with employee unions and expected reduction in state grants.
Hartford's school budget for next year will be officially presented to the Board of Education on Apr. 19.
According to the Hartford Public School website, superintendent Beth Schiavino-Narvaez will present a two-year plan that "aligns funding with the district's" strategy plan.
The release can be found here.