NORWALK, Conn. — This is a copy of a letter sent to Stefan Pryor, Commissioner of the Connecticut State Department of Education, following the announcement that Norwalk’s superintendent of schools, Susan Marks, Ph.D., has tendered her resignation.
We had a $6 million budget shortfall going into the 2012-13 school year, due primarily to employee salaries and benefits. The number grew to $10 million due to retiree healthcare benefits and special education costs when a $4 million error was found that dated back to 2007-8. Board of Education budgets keep getting slashed, despite tax increases each year, and we get short-changed in the Educational Cost Sharing formula. We will be laying off about 90 staff members this month.
Add to that — a quarter century of status quo union leadership of both the Norwalk Federation of Teachers union and Norwalk Assistants and Supervisors Association (NASA union), not to mention out of control, insubordinate school principals, and you have a city out of control.
After two years, our Superintendent, Dr. Marks just wanted her life back. This was largely due to a combination of insufficient or unqualified staff in key positions, her own 18-plus hour days and personal attacks from the status quo that date back to the very day she arrived two years ago!
Norwalk will be on its sixth superintendent in a decade.
We need an interim/permanent superintendent that possesses the following attributes:
- A reformer
- Proven executive leadership — can effectively lead a $155 million organization.
- Willing to fire insubordinate people, crack heads and take on the unions. Norwalk is a rough place.
- Openly embraces the city as a partner and appreciates the financial/political support the city sincerely desires to provide
Would appreciate a meeting with you or your staff anytime and will bring members of our BoE and city officials!