The People United Will Never Be Defeated!

When we learned the Hartford School district was to receive $46 million in relief funding, we reached out and asked the question, if it were up to us, as educators, how would we spend this money to improve education for our students? And then, we LISTENED! We listened to health professionals, teachers, substitutes, CDAs, SPOs, paraeducators, administrators, and secretaries; ALL the professionals of HPS. Here are the collective ideas for how not only the $46 million, but also the next influx of $98 million dollars should be spent.

  • FIrst and foremost- Keep the money inside our classrooms and schools! No more than 1% of funds should go to administrative costs.
  • Hire more staff! Our staffing has been pared and stretched for too long, much to the detriment of our students. Hartford students deserve the same opportunities as their suburban counterparts.  The influx of federal dollars offers the perfect opportunity to address long-time gaps in our educational system. Specifically:
    • Hire more counselors, social workers, and psychologists to adequately support our students’ social emotional needs. Post COVID we expect those needs to be increased. 
    • We must provide all students with adequate support and opportunities for self-expression and growth. One such opportunity is guaranteeing every student a music and art education every year, in every school.
    • Ensure there’s a registered nurse in every school.
    • Reduce class size to give students the attention they need and deserve.
    • Bring back classroom paras in the primary grades. Ensure an adequate number of paras such that clear adherence to IEPs is in place.
    • Hire more support personnel, and make sure every school has a librarian or media specialist.
  • Spend funds on resources needed for high quality education such as
    • Improved Wifi service 
    • New desks to replace those that are breaking down,
    • Hardware and software technology, adequately maintained, to keep us current in this digital age.
  • Invest in better quality and healthier food for our breakfast and lunch programs!
  • Bridge an opportunity gap by creating extra curricular and enrichment offerings such as cooking, wood working, photography, school news, yoga, glee club, as well as field trips and social events that help bind a community together. Also, fund supplemental supports such as tutoring and summer programs.
  • These ideas may not even bear a direct cost: 
    • Adjust scheduling to better fit students needs as well as provide more time for staff collaboration in planning and community building.
    • Allow for more teaching and less testing.
    • Empower staff to innovate in problem solving. 
    • Address and promote anti racism work. 
  • Make HPS a more attractive district to work in.
    • Train recruiters in hiring a diverse staff.
    • Trust our staff!
    • Provide adequate supports in order to retain staff. 
    • Reduce demands from central office on all job descriptions.
    • And Make wages competitive.

This list of ideas, though not exhaustive, shows the incredible amount of human capital that exists in our school system. HFT recognizes the benefit of working together in collaboration for positive change, and in listening to each other! The coalition of HPS unions represents all school employees who work daily with our students and assess their needs on a regular basis. We are the school based professionals that know best what students need. Let our voices be heard!  Re-professionalize our professions! Stay united to educate strong for a better tomorrow! Because the PEOPLE UNITED WILL NEVER BE DEFEATED!!!!