MERIDEN — A re-organization plan prompted by Miguel Cardona’s selection as state education commissioner will save the Board of Education $103,547.
Cardona, who served as the city’s assistant superintendent, was sworn in to his new job last month.
At Tuesday night’s school board meeting, Superintendent of Schools Mark Benigni and Assistant Superintendent Michael Grove presented the changes, which includes eliminating Cardona’s former position, which paid $168,740.
“People are in positions of their expertise. (This) should help support staff and student success,” Benigni said. “ Also, it helps with cost savings to have funds to support other areas of need.”
The redistribution added a central district liaison position at $42,000 annually to support central registration staff. Duties include verifying residency through home visits. The position reports to the Supervisor of Language and Community Partnership, Evelyn Robles-Rivas, Benigni said.
The plan expands Robles-Rivas’ duties to include world languages, and secondary schools’ parent support.
Other changes included smaller stipends for additional days spent on the job.
The supervisor of blended learning, use of technology and enrichment got five additional days at $3,061. The supervisor of post-secondary planning and data integration received $6,121 for 10 additional days.
This position oversees social studies in grades K-12, adult education, the success program for adults, and maintains contacts with civic, business and workforce training groups.
The fine arts coordinator will receive $14,568 for supervising music and arts programs in all grades.
A physical education district coordinator will receive a new stipend of $3,619 to oversee the physical education and health curriculum, coordinate the state fitness test, and chair the district wellness committee.
Board members said they were pleased with the changes and the cost savings.
“As district employees have moved on to new opportunities, Dr. Benigni and his staff have looked at ways to balance the duties of the vacancies by giving more responsibilities to strong, experienced staff members as well as save over $100,000 in salaries,” said Robert Kosienski, another committee member. “Some positions have increased with small stipends and extra days of work, the overall savings is incredible. Especially given the current financial concerns of the district and state.”
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