Norwalk schools super given raise by BoE

Norwalk Superintendent Manny Rivera.
Norwalk Superintendent Manny Rivera.

Updated 12:08 a.m., Thursday, vote tally; 4:55 p.m. Wednesday with Mike Lyons comment on contract’s bonus provision.

NORWALK, Conn. — A glowing review was bestowed Tuesday night upon Norwalk Superintendent Manny Rivera — along with the authorization for a 3 percent raise.

The Board of Education authorized the raise after a meeting-ending executive session to evaluate the superintendent. Rivera, who is paid a base rate salary of $220,000 plus a $30,000 annuity, will get the raise as of the anniversary of his first day on the job, July 18, according to BoE Chairman Mike Lyons.

Lyons said no one voted against it. Shirley Mosby abstained; Migdalia Rivas left before the executive session began. Mike Barbis, Jack Chiaramonte, Artie Kassimis, Heidi Keyes, Rosa Murray and Lyons voted for it. Sherelle Harris was absent.

The evaluation, emailed by Lyons to NoN, is attached below. It says that Rivera has had an excellent working relationship with board members, has made extensive outreach efforts and has “brought Norwalk Public Schools into the 21st century in terms of communication, both from an emergency perspective (text and email systems for emergencies) and in ongoing communications with our enhanced website, social media presence and through a pro-active communications strategy.”

Rivera’s self-evaluation is included. He writes that he is proud of the work accomplished in less than a year, and offers a list of achievements that includes the new P-Tech Academy at Norwalk High School, the expansion of the After the Bell program next fall, the purchase of curriculum materials and securing a $1.1 million grant from the Dalio Foundation.

“Morale is high across the school system and the community, and the wonderful people that I have the privilege to work with are ready to meet a new set of higher expectations,” Rivera wrote. “Although we are not perfect we are busy addressing the challenges that we face and working to create a higher performing school system for ALL of our students and the adults that serve them.”

The contract Rivera signed a year ago also included a provision for a bonus, “performance compensation of up to 20 percent of the superintendent’s salary.”

Lyons said in a Wednesday afternoon email that there is no bonus this year, elaborating on what he said last year after the details of the contract were made public.

“We didn’t set numerical performance criteria for his first year, so he is not eligible for a bonus,” Lyons wrote. “We are considering possibly settling such criteria for next year, which would be payable (if the set criteria are met) in July, 2015.”

Evaluation of Superintendent Manuel Rivera by the Norwalk Board of Education – Board Adopted


18 responses to “Norwalk schools super given raise by BoE”

  1. MarjorieM

    I assume that Mike Lyons was right when he said no $50,000 bonus on top of this?

    Does this affect administrators and teachers raises? I would think they would get the same 3%, right?

  2. Piberman

    What a resounding success and demonstration of Mike Lyons superb leadership. Dr Rivera – we love you. All of us. For the first in decades our BOE is both admired and respected. What a fine demonstration of “real public service”.

    Imagine if could have a similar miracle elsewhere. It would be nice.

  3. As I have said repeatedly would be the case, there is no bonus for Dr. Rivera this year. Raises for other staff will be determined through collective bargaining negotiations, which may or may not reflect performance. Dr. Rivera’s raise DOES reflect his high quality performance.

    1. Mark Chapman

      @Mike Lyons, Marjorie M

      We have updated the story with a comment from Mike Lyons about the bonus, or lack thereof.

  4. John Hamlin

    I have no issue providing Superintendent Rivera
    A raise and a bonus. Unlike those who are members of public employee unions, his compensation is increased and his bonus determined based on his performance. If he performs well in the eyes of the BOE he is compensated accordingly — not on the basis of seniority or the fact that he survived another year. When union members agree to such accountability, we should reward them based on performance too.

  5. anon

    @Hamlin, ditto

  6. Taxpayer Fatigue

    What remains to be seen is whether or not all of this additional spending will actually improve test scores, graduation rates, special education, etc. Dr. Rivera seems to be saying and doing all the right things, however, we are spending more money on new positions, programs and raises before we’ve seen any actual real results in terms of real, measurable improvement in the education of our children.

  7. Srb

    I presume taxpayer fatigue didn’t read where the article refers to a 1.1m grant plus PTECH is in collaboration with IBM? Which is covering part of the cost

  8. Well, its true to say “we are spending more money on new positions, programs and raises before we’ve seen any actual real results in terms of real, measurable improvement in the education of our children.” Of course, one could say in another context, early in a construction project, “we are spending more money on steel, bricks, mortar, electrical and plumbing materials, but we haven’t seen any actual real results in terms of a real house we can live in.” One should give the builder at least the chance to build the house before criticizing him for spending money buying the materials. Hopefully people will give Dr. Rivera the same chance to ‘build’ educational improvements.

  9. p.o.taxpayer

    nice, the rich get richer and the poor poorer.

  10. One and Done.

    Does anyone understand basic finance anymore?
    The raise was a mistake.
    I agree Dr. Rivera is doing a great job.
    They should have just given him a spot bonus, say $10 or $20k. Heck even $50k.
    3% of 220,000 translates to an additional $75000 in compensation over a 10 year period. $177,000 over a 20 year period. $314,000 over a 30 year period. Hopefully in the next 30 years someone on the board will understand the effect of compounding rates.

  11. Don’t Panic

    @one and done,
    Spot on.

  12. Joe

    He gets a raise after just one year? He’s already the highest paid guy in town. What’s he done to help me? His big Common Core experiment hasn’t even been tested and graded yet in our schools, has it? I heard my tax bill is going up over $800 this year. You politicians and board members need to slow this train down…we can’t keep up with all these big bills.

  13. Jody Sattler

    Anyone who disagrees with the raise for Dr.Rivera must not have children in the school system. I have 3 kids in elementary school who are benefiting everyday from the leadership provided by Dr.Rivera and Mr.Lyons. I’ve seen the actual impact of Common Core standards and rigor through the GoMath curriculum. If anyone doubts the Common Core, try completing one of my 1st grader’s math assignments. You will be very impressed with the level of learning they are completing at a very young age. Now, Dr.Rivera is going to impact the ELA learning through the new curriculum he fought hard to get approved. Ms.Mosby also voted against that too.

  14. Joe

    Anyone with 3 children in our elementary school system at the same time should be paying some tuition.

    You know, pay your fair share. Don’t be a moocher.

  15. piberman

    Curious that the modest raise for Dr. Rivera was granted after a formal performance review made by the BOE. Would that similar efforts be made for our high paid City officials who receive annual increases without any details on their improved “performance”. It’s been a long time that any BOE considered a Norwalk Supt. worthy of a merit raise. Now that’s something to celebrate.

    For those readers interested in compounding can you guess what happens if City spending keeps increasing 55% every two decades amidst stagnant income ? A billion dollar City budget lies in our future with handsome 6 figure salaries for all public employees. Become a millionaire working as a “public servant”. That’s rich.

    Actually Maryland is now has the second highest proportion of millionaires in the US courtesy of average Federal salaries of about $125,000. Norwalk needs to catch up. We need more millionaires here and paying generous public union salaries looks promising.

  16. Uncle Phil

    Hey Joe, maybe you should go back to school and learn some class.

  17. Joe, re your comment “His big Common Core experiment hasn’t even been tested and graded yet in our schools, has it?” Yes, it has, in the component that has been fully implemented (GoMath, the Common Core math curriculum in the 12 elementary schools). Our mid-year benchmark testing conducted this winter showed that our students’ average math scores exceeded goal by 10% (they had trailed goal in previous CMT testing). In another year we’ll have comparative data on middle school and high school math as well. Of course, we’re just commencing the English curricular upgrades in K-5 this fall.

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