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Cops And Cuts, City Council Candidate Weighs In On School Board Decisions

July 19th, 2017 · 105 Comments · Education, News and Events

Brown, Langan

Kyle Langan teaming up for City Council run.

Kyle Langan, a candidate for City Council in the West Side 132nd District, teaches 8th grade literature at Achievement First Bridgeport, a charter school. In this commentary he laments recent Board of Education decisions regarding school resource officers and the city’s Lighthouse afterschool program.

As a teacher in Bridgeport, if you were to ask me what would help my classroom and my school provide a better education for our young people, nowhere on that list would you find “more police officers in the schools. Yet that is exactly what will be happening as a result of the recent deal between the City of Bridgeport and the Board of Education (BOE). This “deal,” which was agreed upon by the BOE in a 5 to 4 vote (Baraka, Walker, Pereira, Gardner against) requires the education system in Bridgeport to accept a federal grant providing 9 student resource officers (police) into the schools for four years. The first three years these officers will not cost the schools anything but in the fourth the BOE will be responsible for paying 50% of these officers’’cost to the tune of $400,000+.

In this negotiation, the Board of Education was requesting money from the years that the Lighthouse Program (a summer and after school program run by the city) operated in their schools without paying for any building expenses: custodial staff, electrical costs, food costs etc. In times of financial distress, this is not a crazy ask. Not to mention the fact that while the Lighthouse Program collects money from Bridgeport families, there hasn’t been any convincing evidence from the city as to where this money goes. So if the BOE was forced to take on officers from a grant it did not request the city must have compromised on the highly debated Lighthouse Program money, right? Wrong.

The only place in this deal where the BOE can possibly regain ANY funds is through an allowance by the city for the BOE to shop their snow removal contract. This could potentially yield tens of thousands of dollars, but nowhere near the $500,000 compromise the BOE was looking for from the city for the years of nonpayment from the Lighthouse Program. A motion was made by Mr. Gardner to return to the negotiating table and propose the city take over all expense for waste removal moving forward and the Lighthouse Program debt would be forgotten while being allowed to continue to operate for free in the schools. This, Gardner said, would be enough to recover the cut Kindergarten aides and would be a more amenable deal for the children of Bridgeport. Unfortunately this was voted down.

What is really unfortunate about this whole proceeding is that the BOE and the superintendent (whom the board recently hired) were made to look like the villain if they delayed the Lighthouse summer programs for kids while this negotiation ensued. That is not a fair assessment. This negotiation, that is now over, is going to have a devastating impact for 21,000 kids in September as opposed to the 2,600 that participate in the summer program. Everyone wanted to have the summer program for kids. But in the wake of this deal the school system, which should have recovered some money, is saddled with nine cops it didn’t ask for and a $400,000 expense in four years that will mean more cuts in resources that our kids desperately need.

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105 Comments so far ↓

  • John Marshall Lee

    Good reporting of the recent financial activity of the City…..pro-Police funding, pro youth program summer operation without attention to the fact that Lighthouse has been provided a FREE RIDE on school property for years, along with more than $2Million per year from the State and $850,000 from families for fees and registrations (WHICH FUNDS HAVE NO CITY COUNCIL OVERSIGHT BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT PART OF BUDGET NUMBERS PROVIDED TO THE CITY COUNCIL). No community oversight? And Mayor Ganim for the past two years has waited until June to push businesses and the community for funds to assist youth jobs and activity in the summer? Shouldn’t that be addressed to the Council or in another forum with the details?

    Will the folks who allowed the deal with the Police Department that bears a significant cost four years from now, still be on the BOE at that time? Will they be there in December? Is there another way of providing a steady stream of recruiting and training to the Police Department? Time will tell.

  • Gage Frank

    Kyle, this is a great piece. Its great to see that someone with your background really understands the importance of implementing sound financial decisions when our public schools are facing the fate of decades of underfunding. We need more people like you and Marcus to lead the next generation in Bridgeport – usher in a new a local government we can trust, and rely on, not one we criticize and abhor.

  • Steven Auerbach

    The question is in the end, where will the money come from? Should we accept a tax increase? Where do they cut spending? Where will the money come from??? This is a nice piece from Kyle, Marcus and Kyle are certainly respectable candidates.Would they advocate for a tax increase to help fund the Boe and the Lighthouse program?

    Will Maria P. forgive Kyle for supporting and working for Charter schools as this piece seems a little sychophantic . What does Brantly and Smith think about this? Can they address this without a tax increase? Does this piece speak for both Langon and Brown?

    • Eric Alicea

      Steve,

      Also of importantance, when will Tammy Pappas be required to show where the parent fees are? Lighthouse collects more than $800,000/yearly from families that use the program. We all know the city “hides” salaries of political appointees in the Lighthouse budget. We know that some per diem workers at Lighthouse make $36/hour. We also, know that Tammy gave herself a raise without any oversight.

      To say that the Lighthouse Program is wrought with fraud would be an understatement.

      • John Marshall Lee

        Fair comments, Eric. However, Steve lives in a magical world where money is not a factor, so he neither “follows the money” nor lets it enter into his calculations.

        What type of youth program would put a budget together without line item to identify rent, unless they occupied their own real estate? Lighthouse has promoted the concept that they ‘partner’ with the school system, but the only sense that is operative is that they are a parasite taking advantage of the larger system, providing nothing to that school system. (Perhaps there is some data that shows the effect of assistance with homework after hours, but I have not?)
        Maybe the question must be put to the State who routinely funds $2 Million or more? Where is the oversight? And who is responsible for planning summer 2018 activities for youth of various ages (instead of a press release next July 1, 2018?) Time will tell.

  • Ron Mackey

    Is Maria Pereira sick and unable to post on OIB? We are talking about a school teacher from a charter school running for the City Council and she hasn’t flip out.

      • Maria Pereira

        And, to open his op-ed with “as a teacher in Bridgeport…” further solidifies his unethical behavior.

        Mr. Langan purposefully omits he is a “teacher” at Achievement First which leaves the public to believe he is a true teacher in the Bridgeport Public Schools.

        If he is proud of his alignment with AF, why not be completely honest? Kyle Langan is not a Bridgeport Public School teacher, he is a teacher of a state charter $chool located in Bridgeport. There is a clear difference.

  • Maria Pereira

    The absolute audacity of Achievement First employee Kyle Langan to write about what “our” kids needs. Mr. Langan, your kids are charter school children that are not Bridgeport school children. They are defined as “students of the state” as per state statute.

    You sir, have stated so many inaccuracies in your editorial that one should be surprised, however propaganda is what charter $chools are known for.

    There is NO savings in any potential snow removal contracts because we paid for it out of our operating account whether the City or a private contractor does the work.

    Mr. Gardner, never once indicated that the $500,000 Lighthouse Payment would be used towards or cover the expense of reestablishing kindergarten paraprofessionals. That cost is $2.2 million dollars, not $500,000.

    The real disservice to our true public schools and our true 21,000 public school students is people like you and charlatan organizations like Achievement Fir$t which takes 13% of every taxpayer dollar it receives and pockets it in management fees.

    Let’s not forget the 12 school buses, social workers, psychologists, speech pathologists, etc. that the BPS pays for on behalf of Achievement Fir$t to the tune of $989,478 which is nothing but theft from our true 21,000 students.

    You sir, are feeding at the charter $chool trough, therefore you are not in any position to speak about who is or isn’t doing what’s in the best interest of BPS students.

    .

  • Maria Pereira

    Gage, you’re entitled to your opinion, but we know your opinion influences few. You don’t have 10 votes in the 138th District where you have resided for years.

    You are intelligent and a true progressive, however you are known for your poor work ethic and failure to maintain consistent employment. Someone recently attached you to Hillary Clinton’s now famous statement about millenials that won’t work while living in their parents basement.

    I recently had someone ask me about you because you applied for a job. I explained you were bright, intelligent and capable, however you had difficulty maintaining employment. The prospective employer had already noted your reported short-term employment and employment gaps.

    As you know, you left both Marilyn Moore’s and Senator Gomes’ campaigns on a less than positive note.

    In closing, Kyle Langan doesn’t have a “passion” for teaching, he has a “passion” for charter $chool cash.

    Someone just asked him last week why as a graduate of the BPS he chose to work for AF instead of the public schools he received his education from. His altruistic answer was “they pay better”. So much for his “love” of teaching.

  • Lisa Parziale

    Maria you are out of line, and it’s time to knock it off. Stop discouraging, younger, intelligent, honest individuals from entering the sphere of public service merely because they don’t fit into your playbook. You should be directing your passion towards the fraud and corruption taking place right under our noses.

    • Maria Pereira

      Lisa, I am directing my passion towards the fraud and corruption taking place right under our noses. It’s called Achievement First Charter $chools.

      Lisa, you and I disagree on Kyle Langan. I am going to continue to expose him as I see fit. You are going to continue to support him. It’s called politics.

      Stating the facts isn’t out of line, It’s simply stating the facts. What is it that I have stated on OIB that is not accurate? Please share it here so that I can research any inaccuracies and apologize as needed.

      I will wait for your response.

      • Frank Gyure

        Lisa Parziale..most respectfully….there is an increasind and interesting discussion about charter schools. Decisions need to be made. Are we going to have a CC owned by the Charter School Industry or owned by Mario Testa? A rock and a hard place as far as I am concerned. The people of Massachusetts had a referendum about expansion of charter schools. This was an education for the people of MA about charter schools and,last year in 2016,Massachusetts rejected expansion of charter schools. It is becoming obvious that charter school advocates are are taking the place of Testa puppets. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

        • Lisa Parziale

          Frank I offer you the same respect you offer me, however, Kyle is running for the City Council, a job I know well. This position involves issues facing the entire City of Bridgeport, it involves engaging with all the residents and their hardships, hopes, and solutions for the everyday struggles they face, whether it’s public works problems, security, advocates who will address the City budget with them in mind, and so many more. This is not the time to be myopic, or a one-issue voter. I admire you, the time and energy you devote to this City is beyond admirable. I sincerely believe if you met Kyle and discussed the comprehensive problems we live with everyday, his employment would play very little in your opinion of him. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. I’ve lived in this district for 42 years, I know what my neighbors and most of the residents want. It will be Kyle and Marcus, I don’t have a crystal ball, but after 37 years of serving, in one way or another, I think you can put your money on my gut. Since you’re taking the time to post about him, then meet with him. See for yourself.

  • Ron Mackey

    Here is Exhibit A on why voters City wide will vote against Maria Pereira for outrageous vile language about someone she doesn’t like. No one on OIB has posted anything negative Gage Frank and in fact there has been nothing but praise about Gage, something is NEVER said about Maria.

    Maria wrote this about Gage, “you are known for your poor work ethic and failure to maintain consistent employment.” What the hell does that have to do with Gage expressing his opinion or if he decided to run for a elected position? I don’t know Gage, I’ve never even met Gage but I like what he writes on OIB and his involvement with the Young Democrats. Gage is just another person who is intelligent that Maria doesn’t like the same way that Maria hates Jamilah Prince Stewart a graduate of Yale University and the Executive Director FaithActs for Education who Maria called a “uncle Tom.”  Maria Pereira is a disgrace to the Bridgeport Board Of Education.

    https://youtu.be/khEWeDGdVoI  Jamilah Prince Stewart

    • Ron Mackey

      https://youtu.be/khEWeDGdVoI   Jamilah Prince Stewart

    • Maria Pereira

      Ron Mackey, stop with the feigned outrage. I didn’t post one “outrageous vile” comment about Gage. I complimented him several times as well as pointing out some areas of opportunity.

      A perspective employer that I know well did ask me about him. I gave have him the positives and the areas of concern.

      I am not up for reelection for two years so you are just going to have to sit back and wait to round up all five of your votes.

      Jamilah Prince Stewart, a non-Bridgeport resident, is still an Uncle Tom. Nothing has changed on that front. She is an educated and articulate black woman doing the bidding of white male millionaires and billionaires against the interests of Bridgeport’s Black and Brown children. Uncle Tom it is.

  • Bob Halstead

    Kyle is a young, bright, educated Bridgeport native who could have left but stays to make a difference
    Bridgeport Public Schools don’t measure up to Achievement First, obviously, AF gives parents who care about their children an alternative and an option for Bridgeport to keep a needed middle class
    One of the criticisms of charters is lack of migration of Best Practices…well…Kyle brings that!

    • Maria Pereira

      Bob Halstead, you interviewed to fill a vacancy on the BBOE and just stated that “Bridgeport Public Schools don’t measure up to Achievement First”. There’s a great campaign slogan should you run for the BOE.

      What an outrageous statement to make that you could never substantiate. AF is on probation, was caught violating state law regarding the number of uncertified teachers in their schools, significantly underserved special needs and ELL students, takes 13% of every dollar meant to educate students, is highly segregated, etc. and you want to hold them up as an example of great public education.

      • Bob Halstead

        Bureaucratic gobblygook. AFHS in NH named best school in the nation. Look it up

        • Maria Pereira

          The World News Reports methodology has been repeatedly challenged. In fact, they named a charter $chool in N.Y. that didn’t even exist and had to issue a revised ranking.

          One of the top metrics is how many students are enrolled in advanced placement courses. If I am a charter school has only 35 juniors and 25 are enrolled in AP courses, it will outrank a school with 200 juniors that has 100 students enrolled in AP courses.

          Central HS was ranked 40th because of the Central Magnet School component.

          It’s methodology is incredibly flawed.

        • Maria Pereira

          Well, there’s an intelligent, well thought out, fact based rebuttal.

          Debate me with facts, data, a persuasive argument, not something a child would respond with.

  • Steven Auerbach

    Ron Mackey, How is it possible you don’t know Gage? You were a huge Mary Jane Foster supporter. He ran her campaign. He is a great guy.

    Lisa Parsziale, your post was on the money. Young Talent like Brown and Langon should not be discouraged.

    Eric Alicea, Your post was on the money.

    Maria P. Knowledge is power and people may not like what you have to say, but, truth be told. You are perhaps the number 1 reason people read OIB. Lets be honest. JML ……

    Maria, your character assault on Gage , which is your typical response was mean and unnecessary. Gage is a very likable guy. His only downside was letting his potential running mate dictate his future.

    The upside of Maria’s comments against Langon, is that it will make him a stronger candidate. It will be interesting to watch how the Town Committee votes on Monday. Mrcus is a member. I do not think any member on his town committee was aware he was running. Not good politics no matter how you slice it.

  • Ron Mackey

    Maria, you called Jamilah Prince Stewart an Uncle Tom, what do you mean by calling her a Uncle Tom?

    • Frank Gyure

      Hi Ron..first of all..I like history and I do like that you(and Don) brought up the issue of the two differeing interpretations of “Uncle Tom” from the novel of Harriet Beecher Stowe. The fact remains that there are TWO interpretations of “Uncle Tom.” The most prevalent interpretation remains….”The book and the plays it inspired helped popularize a number of stereotypes about black people.[14] These include the affectionate, dark-skinned “mammy”; the “pickaninny” stereotype of black children; and the “Uncle Tom”, or dutiful, long-suffering servant faithful to his white master or mistress.” For the intellectually curious who might happen to populate OIB,they may find that there is an alternative interpretation. I appreciate that you have informed us about this alternative interpretation. However,we cannot walk away from the most common interpretation of what “Uncle Tom” means to most people.

  • Steven Auerbach

    The people of the 138th have to be loving Anthony Paoletto and Nessah Smith today! The paving of Whiteplains Rd.East Main. 138th has made a dramatic change. I will assume that will be on his campaign literature along with Mayor Ganim- Great job guys.

    • Ron Mackey

      Steve, I’m sure that Maria Pereira as the district leader in the 138th talked to Public Works and to Mayor Ganim and had them to do that paving, I think NOT.

      • Marshall Marcus

        You can be sure that the leadership in the 138th and Mayor Ganim had nothing to do with the paving. The paving of STATE RT 127 started here in Trumbull (White Plains Rd) and continues South into Bridgeport (East Main St). Bpt DPW has NOTHING to do with this project. It is our state tax dollars at work. Thank our State Senators and State Representatives if you must thank someone.

        • Maria Pereira

          Mr. Marcus is 100% accurate. It is a state road.

          • Steven Auerbach

            of course Marshall Marcus is correct, but this is politics. People see improvement and people take credit. Ask Donald Trump. The economy improved 1 day after he took office. You get the picture. How Anthony spins it is his business. :-)

        • Ron Mackey

          Marshall Marcus, thanks but I knew Maria had nothing to do with those roads being paved, I was just messing around with Steve. Everybody knows that Maria doesn’t have any power to get anything done in her district.

          • Marshall Marcus

            Ron,
            I make no secret that I live in Trumbull, but we own property and pay taxes in Bridgeport. I believe in inner city education (I’m a product of the New Haven Public Schools during the worst race riots of the 60s). I was in the BPS more than 160 school days this year. Much of what Maria P says about the schools is right on the money.
            I am also against Charter Schools, vouchers and anything that drains funds from the public schools.
            I think the 13% management fee that Achievement First takes off the top is excessive. BPS also has a management fee…the amount it costs to run the central office and pay its staff including the Superintendent. BUT, that is not 13% of the BPS budget, there is an economy of scale when running a city school system that cannot be reached in a charter school.
            On October 1, Charter and Magnet schools receive their state funding for the school year. On October 2nd you’ll see many students sent back to BPS home schools, but the money does not follow them back. So taxpayers will pay twice for those children this coming year.
            BTW>>>>Steve is a friend of mine, If you want to mess with him that’s up to you.
            As for Maria’s power in her district, she has proven her ability to deliver votes and that means something. Luckily, I’m on the Trumbull Democratic Town Committee and we are nowhere as contentious as Bridgeport.

          • Ron Mackey

            Marshall, the Bridgeport public school system is a total failure but you still want to stay in a failing school system at the expense of the 21,000 school students. As for Maria, she has no influence outside of Thomas Hooker School.

  • John Marshall Lee

    Maria,
    Kyle Langan IS a “teacher in Bridgeport”. That is a fact evidenced at a minimum by a paystub from his employer, Achievement First, a school with a Bridgeport address and a Charter that receives public funds from CT. As a non-profit it also raises and receives significant sums from charitable donors that provide revenue in addition to the $11,000 per year per student CT charter formula. But you have charged him with unethical behavior because he did not identify his employer? And the reason you advance is that public schools are the only centers of learning that employ “true teachers”? But you fail to define such differences further and it is vital to your cause because after all these years of your revealing the “billionaires and millionaires” getting rich on charters, you have failed to show John Q. Public how that might work. When CT charters are non-profit (although salaries and benefits may seem generous as in universities and hospitals, but those are not the wealthy billionaires you routinely throw under the bus!)how do those in 1% actually benefit? And is their benefit relatively greater than the opportunity provided to inner city families seeking an alternative?

    Kyle Langan attended Bridgeport schools. Like a fair number of able and prepared local eighth graders he pursued his high school years at Fairfield Prep before going to Boston University. He has had varied experience of classrooms, teachers, and resources beyond what was offered to him through his elementary years. He pursued and received a Masters Degree in Educational Management, Leadership, and Policies from Seton Hall while in New Jersey.

    He spent three years in a Newark, NJ PUBLIC SCHOOL called Eastside High School where he taught English in grades 9-11 for which he was prepared and certified though because of “emergency conditions”, he actually worked with Special Education students under an ‘emergency procedure’.

    Returning to Bridgeport ( CT certified to teach English to grades 7-12) with purpose to “make a difference” by educating Bridgeport youth in the summer of 2016 he sought local assignments including filing with the Bridgeport Public School system on Applitrack as well as opportunities with other schools. He has stated that he never received a response from the public school system. To me that is ‘another’ fact….perhaps something that the BOE might look to administration to report on….not just the instance of one application but how many come in over the transom, so to speak, and how they receive a response? And, yes, he did receive an offer from a Charter School with compensation about $15,000 more than the Bridgeport Public Schools would pay for someone with his credentials. I know that the BOE is aware of the “cost of living” locally and their own fiscal poverty that sustains unattractive pay and benefit differentials, but is the public aware of such a wide disparity?

    Personally I salute homes where parents make a big point with their offspring that school is the work of each youth and that success on that ladder can lead to many successes in life, no matter how you spell success. Reading goes on in the home with materials for all ages. Stories from infancy are told and treasured. Teachers are respected automatically, but checked in with when something seems amiss. Showing up at school, prepared for assignments of the day, and on time every day is so basic as to require no discussion.

    When a family believes that they are not being offered what they desire for educating their children, I understand why they may seek a solution outside the public school system. When there are ‘waiting lists’ for magnet schools, charter schools, etc. what are the possible reasons for those lists? One answer likely is that some folks feel the opportunity and challenges elsewhere look more attractive?

    How much time does the BOE spend on assuring that the positive developments in the system are identified, quantified, made open and transparent to the public, and watched closely for sustainability? Might that be an alternative use of precious time spent on placing a negative spin on a young man who earned a degree that allows him to teach, has experience in two urban locations and two varieties of education open to students with taxpayer supported ‘public’ funding, an additional education specific degree and who is working with Bridgeport youth from a variety of backgrounds?

    Lots of facts (as well as questions) to reflect upon dispassionately perhaps? When will life become more fair? How quickly will our energy and activity in a certain direction move the justice meter? Time will tell.

    • Frank Gyure

      JML…why such a lengthy defense of Kyle Langan’s posting???

      • John Marshall Lee

        Frank, with respect, I was reporting more facts about the man who was attacked, rather than adding to the oft repeated diatribe against Charter Schools from many sides.
        You know that I have constantly raised the issue of more funds for our public school system at City Council meetings in general and not just at budget hearings in the spring annually.
        I attend some BOE committee meetings, often about Finance to hear where the discussion digs out facts and a smattering of other committee meetings in the City.
        Doesn’t Langan deserve some credit for returning to the City to educate kids as he used to be? What happened to his inquiry into the public school potential job pool? What does he cover in his English classes to push comprehension, exposure to the real world, opportunities to improve written and oral presentation, etc.? Isn’t his classroom where the rubber meets the road? If there are close family members in his class of people who died from gun violence this year, then that Charter School class has youth members who are part of the housing challenged and regularly exposed to gun violence population, not just some supposed cream of the crop. It is not a private school, but a State chartered and partially funded entity that is serving some citizens adequately or to their satisfaction or we would be hearing more from them, right? The attack on Kyle deserved an accurate and factual response it seemed to me. I have felt that way in the past for one or more of those whom Maria has thrown under the bus. “Is it the truth? Is is fair to all concerned?” etc……Time will tell.

    • Frank Gyure

      Kyle is a teacher in a PRIVATE school in BPT that is sucking and draining public funds from The Bridgeport School System that is “supposed” to serve the 21(or 22) THOUSAND children who desperately need an avenue to escape poverty and have productive lives. Why are we “playing the role of Judas” to possibly get some immediate compensation yet we sacrifice the rest of the 21-22 Thousand Children of the Bridgeport School System. SHAMEFUL!!!

    • Steven Auerbach

      John Marshall Lee, That was the longest and best post you have written , in my opinion of course. How you have all of his information is amazing. His resume is outstanding to say the least. I think all members on the BOE should have a stron resume and be readily available to the public.

      Personally , I support a parents right to choose a school for their child. I do think there should be a limit on Charter schools. I believe that an excellent school system is absolutely key to economic growrh in the city and I do not believe that money is the answer for the Bridgeport schools. Students are not kept back. Parents are not involved. The kids eat breakfast in school. arents send their kids to school sick. There is after school. Children are fed . The teachers are doing their best. It is the parents. Those parents that are involved demand excellence for their children. So many children in so many classrooms are unchallenged . The BOE has an important job to do. So far there is no tangible evidence that anything constructive is being done.

      Kyle Langon is a very qualified man to run for office. I do not see his position as a conflict of interest. He may hve to sell himself to the district and Smith and Brantley are 2 strong woman. He may have issues , but, his education, background and experience are certainly not and issue. Extremely impressive to say the least!.

  • Ron Mackey

    Maria, what is your reason for you to called Jamilah Prince Stewart an Uncle Tom, what do you mean by calling her a Uncle Tom?

  • Frank Gyure

    I have one comment. Charter Schools are PRIVATE SCHOOLS and NOT ONE CENT OF PUBLIC MONEY should be going to anything and everything charter schools are doing. This will become more of a major issue going forward. Last year,there was a referendum in Massachusetts about expansion of charter schools. I can look up the numbers but it is very possible that more money was spent on the MA charter school referendum than on the US Presidential race(Clinton vs Trump) and it is possible that more votes were cast in the charter school referendum than in the US Presidential race. The people of Massachusetts were fully informed about charter schools and the people of Massachusetts REJECTED expansion of charter schools when they got all the facts. Maybe it’s time for a referendum about charter schools in Connecticut. To be honest,I’d rather have the Testa DTC scoundrels than the charter school thieves.

    • Frank Gyure

      The results of the Massachusetts referendum was that the people of Massachusetts REJECTED expansion of charter schools by a margin of 60% to 40%. When people become educated about charter schools,they see what a fake and facade that charter schools are. Charter Schools are re-introducing Jim-Crow style segregation. Look at where Charter Schools are in Connecticut. It will be obvious that a pattern emerges. Charter schools are a cancer that is eating away at the 200 years of US Public School Education success. Only myopes will continue to support charter schools.

      • Ron Mackey

        Frank, so you are saying the public school system is the best and only system to educate Bridgeport school students.

        • Frank Gyure

          Ron…No..I am not saying that the Bridgeport School System is best serving the 21-22 thousand to the best that can be done. I will be honest. my parents sent me to parochial schools in Fairfield(St. Emery’s) for two reasons;that school served best as a function of national/linguistic purpose and there was the perception that BPT schools were not up to par. My parents worked really hard to send me to Notre Dame HS because the perception(and,very possibly, the reality) That going to Bassick High School would be not the best decision. What I am saying is that the people of Bridgeport need to make a decision to concentraye on ONE OBJECTIVE;to have the best possible Public School System for our children. This has been elusive for decades. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MOUKAWSHER COURT DECISION??? We are no longer talking about that. Judge Moukawsher said that Connecticut has TWO Public School Systems..one for the rich and one for the poor..one for the suburns and one for the urban areas. What happened to the Moukawsher decision. Nothing. The suburbs/the rich remain in control of Connecticut. So ALL systems of the urban areas suffer. Anyone can take a drive down to Bryant School in the West End and the drive FIVE minutes away to McKinley School in Fairfield and you will see a NIGHT AND DAY difference. Give me a break. Segregation is alive and well in the State of Connecticut.

      • John Marshall Lee

        Charter schools in CT have developed where pursuit of education for youth under Boards of Education has been challenged by Jim Crow segregation through the operation of public housing funds for 80 years, among other things. The number of English language learners in our schools is another challenge to the system. There are many parents who are not familiar with our culture and school systems, who indeed may have had little education in the regions of the world from which they have come. Jobs are scarce and movement from one part of the City to another practically may interrupt progress in one school with one classroom teacher that does not translate to the new school. There are all of the fiscal hangups that face Bridgeport where Mayors love new school buildings but make no attempt to provide operating budget funding or better ideas on efficiencies while the state BOE has ultimate responsibility but even after court battles cannot put it together as a State priority!! And people are leaving the State faster than they are entering? And taxes rise to pay the deferred compensation expenses of plans floated years ago with no concurrent price tag to the public? And those old promises are catching up with law makers, aren’t they? And crowding out equal, fair, and just opportunities for youth who live within a mile of each other, but the limits of a Town or City line and the municipal taxing authority and finance board influence mean something enduring and positive in the burbs and leave Bridgeport leaderless in this regard. If Charter Schools were set out to develop and model better practices that produce equal or better performance, what can we learn in exchange for the public dollar? If it is more important to wage “class warfare” against billionaires in those other towns that blocks such learning, then what can we learn? How can Charter Schools afford all of their expenses, compensate teachers significantly above the public schools, and maintain support (and waiting lists)from current parents and the community? What can we learn, if we stop, look and listen? Isn’t life about learning, by and for those in school, as well as for graduates of those same schools for life? Time will tell.

        • Maria Pereira

          JML,what a bunch of for crock. Your diatribe would take a full hour to respond to.

        • Marshall Marcus

          JML……………….
          There is a glaring exception to your basic premise.
          EXPLORATIONS CHARTER SCHOOL in Winsted. Opened in Fall 1997 with the first round of Charters in CT.
          Winsted is 93% White, 4% Hispanic and 1.5% African-American. Less than 4.5% of families are below the poverty line. There has been no Jim Crow system of application of public housing funds.
          Why since 1997 have all new Charter Schools opened in the largest CT cities? Because there is not enough population or demand in small towns for non-BOE, non-Parochial education. We would not need alternatives to serve our cities; schoolchildren if the BOEs in the cities were not political fiefdoms and source of patronage.
          Last term, the Mayor of New Haven had the balls to appoint herself the Chair of the BOE. This being an election year she let a puppet have the post.
          Citizens of large cities don’t want top hear it, but we don’t need 150+ school systems in CT with $150-250K superintendents and duplicative administrators. It is time to regionalize school systems and fund them equally through state taxes, not local property tax.

  • Frank Gyure

    Bottom Line.. I would like to know who really wrote Kyle Langan’s posting here on OIB??????????

    • Frank Gyure

      and Kyle Langan has a conflict of interests concerning Bridgeport Public School issues. Will he recuse himself on all votes on the CC if he becomes a member of the CC?????????????

  • Maria Pereira

    Frank, Kyle Langan, a charter $chool employee will be voting on the following issues:

    1) He will be allowed to vote on the annual appropriation for the Bridgeport Public Schools.

    2) He will be allowed to vote on BPS Capital Projects and bonding for them.

    3) He will be allowed to vote on any charter school or charter school management organization purchasing a piece of city property.

    4) Although municipalities are not required to utilize any taxpayer funds towards a charter $chool, there is no law that forbids it. Therefore, if they have the votes, they could allocate $200,000 for a charter $chool playground, etc…

    5) The City Council votes on establishing a charter commission and it’s members. They could vote to fill the commission with charter school staff, lobbyists, advocates, etc. In fact, Mayor Finch placed a high level Achievement First employee on the charter commission and she supported taking away our right to vote for an elected school board.

    The list goes on and on.

    Aidee Nieces is an AF employee who was made chair of the School Building Construction Committee. We have a charter school employee making key decisions on school construction projects and over $200,000,000 annually.

    We could potentially have Maria Zambrano, and Kyle Langan joining Aidee Nieves on the City Council.

    In addition, Jessica Martinez is heavily backed by white millionaires/billionaires heavily invested in charter schools and the privitization of our public schools. She is affiliated with CanCON, FaithActs, etc. After all, she is the lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit filed in CT Demanding more charter $chools which is being funded by a Silicone Valley billionaire in California. She had a spin-off group from Ex$ell Bridgeport called “Parents for Progress” that supported taking our right to vote for our school board members, but now she has the audacity to ask voters to elect her to the school board.

    Trust me, this rush of pro-charter school/ pro-privitization candidates is not a coincidence.

    I am asking anyone and everyone that supports true public education and understands it is the cornerstone of democracy; to please NOT vote for these candidates, but to also to pick-up your phone, send emails and post on social media why these candidates should not be elected.

    This flurry or pro-charter school candidates is purposeful and part of a larger plan. Do not be fooled.

    Talk about it at the diner, in the grocery line, at family picnics or gatherings, etc. Just get the word out.

    • John Marshall Lee

      I do not dispute the extensive list of potential City Council matters that do or may come before them. And I understand the position of those who see Charter Schools diverting funds and students from traditional public schools. However, two sticking points for me are what would we do in the City if the figure of 2900 students this coming year were to be returned to public schools to educate? And if all of the dollars the Charter Schools receive today was also returned, what would that look like? Would it solve the fiscal quick sand?

      Finally, how many Charter School persons, attempting candidacy, have been connected with DTC sponsorship and endorsement? To the extent that these folks are independent of the DTC and Mayor’s Office, doesn’t the body politic come out ahead? Who is our biggest public enemy: silent, secret, relentless, with a rule book last edited in 1983 and nowhere to be found today, the DTC? Or the billionaires of Fairfield County taking advantage of tax credits and/or tax-deductible contributions approved by the Federal Tax Code with open, accountable and transparent revelations annually on the internet? Time will tell.

  • Ron Mackey

    Let’s put a face on the 21,000 Bridgeport public school students, 8% are white and 92% are black and brown students. The Bridgeport public school system is a total failure and with the Bridgeport Board Of Education doing nothing to improve the education of those students, instead they are fighting each other as they major in minor. Everybody realize that the Bridgeport public school system is not the answer to educating the 21,000 students in Bridgeport and magnet schools are not the answer and charter schools are not the answer. The loudest voices against charter schools in Bridgeport are whites and they have only one answer to educating the 21,000 students who are 92% black and brown in the Bridgeport public system is to make no changes and to continue with the same old fail public school system. Parents read nothing about improvement with test scores or ways to improve and to give these students a first class education so that they can enter society and become productive citizens. 

    Now we have a young black woman, Jamilah Prince Stewart a graduate of Yale University and the Executive Director FaithActs for Education, steps up and speaks out about the failure of the Bridgeport public school systems and she’s verbally attack by BBOE member Maria Pereira, who is white, and calls her out with a racial slur by calling Ms Stewart a “uncle Tom,”  what the hell is going on here? What choices do black and brown parents have in Bridgeport to get their children a good education? Everything is about money, school contracts for everything and there at those who are concern about white business making money off of black and brown students going to charter schools but they have no problem with white businesses making money off of black and brown students in the failing Bridgeport public schools. I ask you to just listen to what Jamilah Prince Stewart is saying in the video and please tell me what is she saying that is wrong.

    https://youtu.be/khEWeDGdVoI   Jamilah Prince Stewart

    • Marshall Marcus

      Sorry Ron,
      The face of BPS student body is NOT 8% White and 92% Black and Brown.
      Why have you conveniently ignored the entire Asian student body?

  • Ron Mackey

    Bridgeport Public Schools Student Demographics:

    Asian/Pacific Islander/Filipino 3%
    Others 1%
    White 8%
    ———
    12%

    88% Guess who?

  • Maria Pereira

    What we do know is the NAACP has passed a resolution calling for a moratorium on ANY new charter schools in this country and an investment in our true public schools.

    This resolution is binding on every chapter of the NAACP.

    • Gage Frank

      I believe Ron was mentioning your use of a racial slur against a woman of color, not the NAACP’s stance on charter schools.

    • Ron Mackey

      Maria, what the Greater Bridgeport NAACP position of you using a racial slur in calling Jamilah Prince Stewart a “Uncle Tom?”

        • Maria Pereira

          I know I don’t care what 25 year old neophyte who has a reputation for being lazy and having a poor work ethic thinks. In addition, Uncle Tom Jamilah Prince Stewart is not a Bridgeport resident.

          Have, you should never let anyone see you sweat. I mean you just got played by Dollie Fonseca which was pretty embarrassing. You asked Senator Gomes to endorse you for City Council and he refused. In fact, he has endorsed my candidates.
          You left both Marilyn Moore’s and Ed Gomes campaign on a negative note. In fact, Helen Losak told Ed if you ever worked on one of his campaign’s again, she would refuse to help him.

          Don’t start what you can’t possibly finish. It’s just not smart. I heard a rumor you.plan.on running for state rep. against Stallworth. That should be incredibly interesting…

        • Maria Pereira

          Gage, say what ever it is you are trying to say, but remember I am incredibly litigious. Two years ago a charter school blogger posted these EXACT same documents and made false claims.

          In CT, accusingsomeone of a false conviction will result in compensible damages. I hired a retired judge who served that blogger and generously gave her seven days to print a retraction and an apology. That little blogger did it in four days.

          Feel free to confirm this post with Lennie.

          It’s probably past your bedtime so feel free to check in with him tomorrow. Now sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite. :)

  • Donald Day

    Frank, you ask,” Kyle Langan has a conflict of interests concerning Bridgeport Public School issues. Will he recuse himself on all votes on the CC.” The same question should be asked of Maria as she is an ardent basher of charter schools. You and Maria thinks, feels and believe that the only people worthy of the BBOE should be anti charter school advocates.

    How is that good for the education of Bridgeport youth when the conversation of their education is one-sided and biased. Parent’s of Bridgeport’s children know that public education is falling their children academically and that is indisputable. So now what do they do continue with the abject failure of their children’s education or try something different. If charter schools fail their children so what because they know that public education will certainly proven and has consistently proven to be a failure. It’s easy for a bunch of white people to say what’s best for a school system that is 88% Black and Latino, Hispanic and/ or Puerto Rican. Its easy for a white lady, Maria, to say what’s best for the children of Bridgeport when in reality she doesn’t have a child in the Bridgeport school system that is receiving a substandard education.

    • Maria Pereira

      It’s easy for a black man who abandoned Bridgeport and moved to the suburbs to talk about what those of us who have stood here and fought in the trenches for our 21,000 students have or haven’t stood for.

      I have fought for the needs of every public school child regardless of race, creed, sex, religion, sexual.orientation, etc.

      You, Mr. Day, haven’t so much as attended a school board meeting.

      The school board does not make decisions on charter schools unless they are specifically required by state statute. We don’t vote on their appropriation, capital projects, purchases of city property, etc. Therefore, there is nothing to recuse myself from you absolute moron.

      • Ron Mackey

        Maria, you have done nothing to improve the education of black students in Bridgeport since you have been on the BBOE, nothing. You continue to support this fail public school system, you know it’s a failure and you have no idea on to improve the education of black children. Their future is in a crisis and the only thing you do is to talk bad about people and praise how wonderful you are, it’s always about Maria.

  • Maria Pereira

    Donald Day, I know you know absolutely nothing about public education, however the duties of a School board are codified in state statute. School boards are responsible to the students in their district and their district only. Governing Councils are responsible for charter school students only which are defined as students of the state and their parents are defined as parents of the state.

    You live in the suburbs and do not speak for what Bridgeport parents do or do not know.

    If you review the CT-N video of the public testimony provided against Capital Prep. Charter School you will find the majority of speakers were black and Hispanic.

    • Ron Mackey

      Teacher unions have fought charters in cities and states across the country; currently, the Massachusetts Education Association is committing $11 million to its anti-charter campaign. Union opposition is quite understandable. Charters attract students away from school districts who bargain collectively with teacher unions. Most charters do not have collective bargaining agreements with their employees. Teacher pension and medical benefits are siphoning funds from classrooms at district schools, but are leaving charter schools largely untouched.

      • Maria Pereira

        The referendum on lifting the cap on charter schools in Massachusetts already occurred and was SOUNDLY defeated with the pro-charter school millionaires and billionaires significantly outspending parent organizations, the NAACP, and the teachers unions.

    • Donald Day

      You cantankerous biddy, you addressed none of what I said in my post. When you can’t come up with a cogent intelligent answer you tend to try and baffle people with bullshit, which you did very well to my response. Are you fighting for a quality education for your children in the Bridgeport school system? Would you recuse yourself from decisions that deal with charter schools like Frank thinks Kyle should do? Finally why are you so comfortable using a racial slur against Black people?

      • Lisa Parziale

        Donald you are not only so “cool” you’re so smart. :)

        • Maria Pereira

          Lisa, no one who attends a political fundraiser in a fur coat and fedora is “cool”. There are many politicians in Bridgeport who are simply past their prime, can’t manage a basic excel AN spreadsheet, and don’t even understand campaign filing forms they may have signed onto.

          However, everyone has the right to participate in their own way, even if their capabilities are limited.

      • Ron Mackey

        Don, that’s her game, wit, grit and bullshit. She doesn’t give a dam about black children getting a good education, instead her main concern are protecting white union leaders and their multi million dollar contracts at the expense of black children.

        • Maria Pereira

          Really, I wasn’t endorsed by the teachers union in 2009 or 2015 you idiot. Nor did I receive a single financial contribution from them.

  • Frank Gyure

    Perhaps this discussion shows that Connecticut should have a referendum about expansion of Charter Schools just as Massachusetts had last year.

  • Ron Mackey

    Maria, seeing that you have no knowledge of blacks and charter schools here is a video where the NAACP is being challenge by black educational leaders. The NAACP is the oldest civil rights organization in America but it’s not the only voice for blacks just like there is no one organization speaking for whites. Watch and listen to what blacks think about charter school.

    “Is The NAACP Wrong For Their Stance On School Choice and Charter Schools?” 

    https://youtu.be/4AZ2_EjwqLs

  • Maria Pereira

    Clearly, the Executive Board of the NAACP was not swayed by all the paid charter school Uncle Toms who protested at the behest of the white millionaires and billionaires who invest in charter schools and dole out tons of cash to many of the Uncle Toms who protested.

    I reviewed all the names on the signed letter submitted to the NAACP objecting to their proposed resomution and couldn’t help but chuckle. Dr. Perry, Jeremiah Kitridge, etc. All those sell-outs on the white mans payroll.

    Thank goodness the Executive leadership saw right through the bunch of them, ignored them, and kept the resolution moving to passage.

    • Ron Mackey

      Maria, as I said, the NAACP is not the only voice for blacks just like there is no one organization speaking for whites.

      Maria, you have no knowledge of black history especially with education of blacks. The Executive Board of the NAACP must  bow down at the behest of the white unions leaders along with some elected black politicians who depend on those rich white leaders for funding their organization.

      One must understand the history of blacks to really understand the problem of education today concerning black children. These issues have yet to be resolve but we still have whites like Maria who don’t care about the education of black children, instead she’s only concern about protecting white unions. The Bridgeport public school system is failing black students.

      In 1896, the Supreme Court had established the ruling of “separate but equal” in education. This was never applied in totality in the south – only the “separate” was. This had been applied to schools and colleges of further education.
      In 1945, the two areas where segregation and racism was most obviously applied was in housing and in education. In the southern states, the African Americans lived in the poorest areas with the worst facilities. That they did was symbolic that they had the worst paid jobs that could only afford the most basic of facilities. The worst financed schools were also in these areas so the separation between education and the general standard of lifestyle in America is a clinical one – the two must be seen as being one of a whole. This problem was not only restricted to the southern states either.
      Within the south, the general philosophy that had developed since the civil war, was that if African Americans were kept ill-educated they would remain ‘in their place’ in society. An educated “boy” could become a danger. There was also a belief in some areas that African Americans were not intelligent enough to deserve an education. The shadow of “Jim Crow” cast itself over education in the south. The result of this was very much linked to the poverty most African Americans found themselves in – without a good education, no-one could advance themselves in southern society. Therefore, a poor education guaranteed a poor lifestyle for the African Americans.

  • Jeff Kohut

    Until the Bridgeport economy and related socioeconomic matters are fixed — and living-wage/middle-class incomes for Bridgeport families are the rule and not the exception, there can be little meaningful process in addressing Bridgeport public education issues… Traditional public schools or charter schools, if underprepared kids from impoverished, dysfunctional homes are being sent to underfinanced schools, most of what happens on the BOE or in City Hall has little meaning…

    What is that James Carville famously held out as the big issue of politics?

    Rebuilding Bridgeport’s economy is the first step in rebuilding Bridgeport’s families, which is the first, and most important step in recreating a viable educational environment and reasonable chance of academic success for Bridgeport kids… The Charter School-Public School fight is just a distraction from the real issues of Bridgeport’s regionally-engineered failure to thrive… (Now that the entire state economy has been undermined by skewed development policy, a reasonable chance for indicated Bridgeport redevelopment is even more remote…)

    So much political energy wasted on the most stupid of turf battles and other BS when what we need is a real political-social-economic revolution…

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