New Supt. Chooses Attorney, Educator to Serve as Deputy:

Kim Tsai Is Co-defendant with Tahiliani in Boston Lawsuit

Incoming Supt. Priya Tahiliani has put forth her choice for the new position of Deputy Superintendent, and that person – an attorney that works alongside her at Boston Public Schools (BPS) – is the co-defendant with Tahiliani in a pay equity lawsuit against BPS.

According to the agenda and Chair Tom Abruzzese, Tahiliani – who starts officially on March 1 – was scheduled Tuesday night at the School Committee meeting to put forth Kim Tsai as her new deputy superintendent. The position is a new one and would be her second-in-command, though it would not displace any administrators now in place, including the two assistant superintendents.

“Priya is coming before us to put forth Kim Tsai,” said Abruzzese. “That’s who she wants as her deputy. It comes down to the School Committee approving the matter and negotiating a contract with Kim Tsai. If we do, she would start on March 1 with Priya.”

The matter was on the agenda for the School Committee meeting on Feb. 18, which came too late for Independent deadlines.

The new deputy superintendent job was proposed by Tahiliani earlier this month, and approved by the School Committee.

Tsai is the director of legal compliance at the Office of English Language Learners in BPS. An attorney who graduated from New York University and New England School of Law, she is also the co-defendant on a pay equity lawsuit with Tahiliani against BPS. That suit is still pending, but Tahiliani told the Independent in a previous article that it was all about standing up for fair and equitable treatment for all women, including those that are coming up behind her and Tsai.

The lawsuit, filed in 2018, indicates that she and Tsai were doing the same work as men at BPS, but were getting paid less. The suit asks for comparable back pay with any affirmative ruling.

“She came before us with the job description and the request and we approved that,” said Abruzzese. “Now there is a name and a face attached to that job description. It’s what she wants and I want to give her all the tools necessary to succeed. It will be up to the rest of the School Committee to see how they want to go forward.”

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