Board Meeting Notes

 

Stoughton Teachers Association
PO Box 902
Stoughton, MA 02072

Next Executive Board Meeting ~ Feb. 2 ~ OMS ~ 3:15

 

 

 

 

 

To:     S.T.A. Membership,
From: John Gunning, S.T.A. President

An Open Letter to the Stoughton School Committee

January 27, 2015

Dear Dr. Ural, Ms. Pina-Enokian, Dr. Brown, Ms. Husseini and Mr. Soares:

We are writing on behalf of the Stoughton Teachers Association to urge the School Committee to complete a thorough investigation of the details of Superintendent Rizzi and Deputy Superintendent Ford’s business venture, Level 1 Educational Consultants.

Level 1 Educational Consultants:  Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent, Pre-K-12 STEM Coordinator, Pre-K-12 Humanities Coordinator, OMS Assistant Principal

Questions:

Is it a conflict of interest for the Superintendent to enter into a business relationship with employees whom she supervises?

Is it a conflict of interest for the Deputy Superintendent to enter into a business relationship with employees whom he supervises?

Who evaluates the Deputy Superintendent?

Who negotiates the Deputy Superintendent’s Contract of Employment?

Who evaluates the Pre-K to 12 STEM Coordinator?

Who evaluates the Pre-K to 12 Humanities Coordinator?

Would the work of Level 1 Educational Consulting be conducted on Stoughton Public Schools time or using Stoughton Public Schools resources?

What are the consulting fees?

When were the photographs taken that are included on the website page, Level 1 Educational Consultants?  (date and time)

Who took the photographs?

Will Stoughton teacher-developed curriculum (e.g. Toolkits) be sold to other districts?

Will student data, teacher evaluations and impact ratings from the Stoughton Public Schools be used for consultation purposes in other districts?

What is the specific language of the Superintendent’s employment contract that authorizes her to engage in an educational consulting company while simultaneously being employed full-time as the Superintendent of the Stoughton Public Schools?

What is the specific language of the Deputy Superintendent’s employment contract that authorizes him to engage in an educational consulting company while simultaneously being employed full-time as the Deputy Superintendent of the Stoughton Public Schools?

Has an advisory opinion been sought from the State Ethics Commission?

Please provide a justification for reducing the current STEM and Humanities Curriculum Coordinators’ workload in half other than increasing the time that they are available to participate in the new business venture, Level 1 Educational Consultants.

Unit B Request to Reopen Contract

Background:  Unit B is a bargaining unit of 10 administrators.  The current Unit B contract was settled for three years in June, 2013 and is in effect from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2016.  Several months ago, the Unit B Negotiating Team wrote a letter to the School Committee requesting that their contract be reopened for an additional wage increase.  The three members of the Unit B negotiating team are partners in Level 1 Educational Consulting.  The School Committee has agreed to reopen the contract to discuss additional wages.

Questions:

Please provide the justification for reopening a settled contract midterm to discuss paying additional wages.

Was the Superintendent present during executive session when the request to reopen the Unit B contract was discussed?

Did she support the reopener?

Did she disclose at that time or has she ever disclosed to the School Committee that she is in a business partnership with the three individuals who are making the request to reopen the contract?  If yes, when was disclosure made?

Was the Deputy Superintendent present during executive session when the request to reopen the Unit B contract was discussed?

Did he support it?

Did he disclose at that time or has he ever disclosed to the School Committee that he is in a business partnership with the three individuals who are making the request to reopen the contract?  If yes, when was disclosure made?

In closing, this is not an exhaustive list of questions.  We anticipate that there are many more questions to be asked and that the answers to some questions may cause other questions to arise.  

Very truly yours,

John Gunning, STA President, OMS
Andrea Pires, STA Vice-president, South
Mel Ingrao, STA Negotiating/Grievance Chair, SHS
Mollie O’Connell, STA Negotiating Team, SHS
Lynne Bonarrigo, STA Negotiating Team, OMS
Ken Kalen, STA Negotiating Team, Gibbons
Mary Quinn, STA Negotiating Team, Gibbons


The following is an article from The Enterprise, January 23, 2015

Stoughton teachers criticize superintendent’s advertised business

The teachers union is questioning how the superintendent has time to run a consulting business on the side

By Cody Shepard , The Enterprise, Posted Jan. 23, 2015 @ 5:30 am

STOUGHTON – Superintendent Marguerite Rizzi’s website advertises a consultant service for districts trying to attain the highest performing level.  Teachers have taken notice and are raising concerns about the feasibility of the superintendent running a business on the side.

John Gunning, the president of the Stoughton Teachers Association, said teachers are very concerned and upset.  “These folks are full-time, all year-long personnel paid by the town of Stoughton,” Gunning said. “Will this be done on school time?” Gunning said there are ethical concerns with Rizzi’s business partners being people she supervises.

The website for Level 1 Educational Consultants lists her partners as Deputy Superintendent Jonathan Ford, K-12 STEM Curriculum Coordinator Janet Sullivan, K-12 Humanities Curriculum Director Mark Galligan and O’Donnell Middle School Assistant Principal David Guglia.

Rizzi, whose annual salary is $177,031, did not return emails or phone calls to The Enterprise on Thursday. She will receive a $7,966 raise next year.  The news of Rizzi’s business has prompted School Committee Chairman Erdem Ural to look into scheduling a special meeting next week.  “I was so surprised; I didn’t know,” Ural said.  He said the committee found out about the business Wednesday night. Ural would not comment on what concerns he has about her running a business because she “has the right to due process.”  Ural said the purpose of the meeting would be so “the members understand what’s going on and what to do next.”

Gunning said the superintendent’s website touts the Level 1 state accountability and assistance level achieved by four Stoughton schools, but teachers don’t think they’re getting credit for the work.  “Very few people are recognizing the teachers for the work they do,” Gunning said.

Cody Shepard may be reached at cshepard@enterprisenews.com


PRESS RELEASE: January 22, 2015

STOUGHTON SUPERINTENDENT RIZZI CREATES CONSULTING BUSINESS ON THE SIDE RAISING CONCERNS.

Superintendent Marguerite Rizzi has created  a website advertising a new business venture: Level 1 Educational Consulting:

http://www.drmaggierizzi.com/

Stoughton teachers have grave concerns about the website. For example:

STA President John Gunning remarked: “Teachers are distressed to learn of this website. We cannot understand how any Stoughton administrator would have the time to pursue such a business venture that, by its nature, would require work during school hours when our schools need our undivided attention. As teachers, we remain focused on our students.