Rabinowitz Returns to Full Time

The Hamden Board of Education Tuesday approved a two-year contract that brings the superintendent back full time and pays her half of a normal salary for the position.


Supt. of Schools Fran Rabinowitz will stay put for the next two years after the Board of Education Tuesday approved a contract that one school official says is a win-win for the district and the taxpayers.

Rabinowitz retired last December but stayed on part-time on a per Diem basis. At the time she cited the illness of a family member as the reason for her decision to retire. 

But her personal situation has improved, which led to her decision to return full-time.

"I'm very pleased to remain with the Hamden Public Schools for the next two years," she said after the board meeting Tuesday night. "I'm looking forward to continuing to moving the programs forward."

Officially she is still retired and collecting her Teachers Retirement Board pension, into which she paid for more than three decades, board chairman Michael D'Agostino said. 

"Not a dollar of Hamden taxpayer money pays her retirement," he said.

She was able to be retained on a part-time basis under a state program that allows retired educators in shortage areas to stay on part-time. The position of superintendent of schools is a shortage area, D'Agostino said, along with positions such as math teachers.

Under the state regulations, Rabinowitz can't earn more than 45 percent of what was her $160,000 full time salary, D'Agostino said. The contract approved Tuesday, which runs from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2014, calls for a salary of $75,000 a year, which falls under that percentage, he said, as well as a $25,000 annuity.

She is also entitled to a $1,000 stipend for miscellaneous expenses, D'Agostino said, which before her retirement she never used.

She will not receive health benefits under the contract, as she is already covered by the Bridgeport school district, where she worked for many years.

"We are getting the best superintendent for the best cost," D'Agostino said. If the board were to hire a new superintendent, it would cost as much as $200,000 a year plus benefits, he said, the going salary for a superintendent in a district comparable to Hamden.

"It's a win-win for the taxpayers, a win-win for the school system, the students and the teachers," he said. "I'm happy to have her continue in this role and happy to have her continue in this role at half the price."

D'Agostino announced that Rabinowitz would stay on full time at a recent PTA council dinner, and one person there said the reaction was unanimous.

"There was thunderous applause," said Meg Nowacki. "Everyone had only positive things to say about her and that this is the best way to proceed for the next two years, having her at the helm."

Charles Baltayan June 19, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Ethics only seem to apply when convenient: The hamden Ethics Board ignores complaints, the Administration and BofE sidesteps FOI requests and the FBI and Retirement Board is trying to hide the truth. I stand by my original comment where this is a shameful abuse of the system and taxpayer must cease and I personally think she and Mr. D'Agostino should be forced to resign without benefits and with penalty for just attempting to do what they are doing.
AG June 19, 2012 at 03:00 AM
Anyone want to clarify whether this position is full time as reported by Patch or part time as required by law and expressed by D'Agostino ... "She was able to be retained on a part-time basis under a state program that allows retired educators in shortage areas to stay on part-time." As for a shortage the practice clogs the career ladder for younger workers, particularly at a time when jobs are scarce. Ironic isn't it?
Charles Baltayan June 19, 2012 at 04:07 PM
The undated agreement for $795/diem states 3 days per week and only until a successor is chosen. (I just sent a letter to the BofE, Mayor and LC calling for the termination of D'Agostino and Rabinowitz including a copy of the 'agreement'.) I think the whole BofE just voted to retain her full time.
william tuttle June 19, 2012 at 07:18 PM
She is not for the Unions...but she certainly doesn't mind picking up that Union negotiated pension check....Ted you are a little hypocritical here. For the record I think it is a great deal for the town and a bargin
Charles Baltayan June 19, 2012 at 08:17 PM
For all those who think that paying the "retired" supeintendent is a bargain, think again. We have two assistant superintendents where only one should be needed. Let her go and use one of the two to step in and save the town the illicit raise she will be netting. All will save in the long run and the salary cost to the town will only be $30,000 for the raise of one of the assistants who should be glad to step in knowing that one assistant will no longer exist.


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