Carvalho's messages bring some of his reasoning for turning down NYC job to light

Carvalho had concerns with New York City's retirement plan, text messages reveal

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho took his school district on an emotional roller coaster earlier this year.

During an emergency school board meeting to "discuss the stability of the executive management leadership," there were students pouring their hearts out, as some members of the community begged Carvalho not to leave.

There is new insight on Friday about his dealings with New York City officials before he rejected the job as chancellor of New York City Schools. The Miami Herald tweeted text messages showing Carvalho had already booked his flight to New York before the emotional meeting.

The New York City's Department of Education announced in February that Carvalho was replacing Carmen Fariña, who was retiring. This was after there were reports last year that Carvalho was considering a run for Congress. 

The school officials in the Big Apple also sent a text message to Carvalho saying that they were working on his rollout to introduce him to the city of New York. They were asking him for old photos to make a video.

"I'm excited and honored," Carvalho wrote, according to the text messages. 

In another exchange with New York officials, Carvalho expressed concerns about compensation asking if he would be able to get paid for speaking engagements. He also sent text messages saying that he was concerned about his retirement plan. 

"In Miami, the board makes that contribution," Carvalho wrote. "I had understood based on our conversation that that would be the case in New York." 

The New York school official said they could not provide that contribution. The New York Times reported a spokesman for the city said Fariña earned a yearly salary of $234,569, and Carvalho was going to be paid $353,000 since he was earning $352,874 in Miami-Dade County.

Carvalho ended up rejecting the job in New York. He chose to do so in front of news cameras and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who took office in 2013, was shocked when Carvalho backed out in March. 

Miami-Dade County Public Schools spokeswoman Daisy Gonzalez-Diego released a statement saying Carvalho had stated that his decision to decline the job in New York City, "after tentatively accepting the Mayor's offer," came as a result of the community's reaction to his departure. 

"There were perceived limitations associated with the position in New York," the statement said. "Discussions regarding compensation were limited to minutes at most, never a priority, and readily settled."

About the Authors: