Faith-Based Group Urges More Money For Education

Dozens of clergy members aligned with FaithActs for Education are urging the City Council to add millions more to school spending as the budget process comes to a close the next few days. Letter follows:

As you prepare to approve the city’s budget, we urge you to support a minimum $4.25 million increase in local education funding. God said, “The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out” (Proverbs 18:15). It’s devastating to think that our children will be missing their teacher, nurse, guidance counselor, or textbooks in the upcoming school year–and that you could have done something about it.

We understand there are no easy answers for you. We know you’ll have to make cuts. Please don’t balance the budget on the backs of our children. We pray that you’ll vote to approve a budget that allocates an additional $4.25 million in local funds to city schools. This increase would reflect:
— $3.1 million secured in tax reimbursement funds
— $1.15 million to match the state’s Education Cost Sharing formula increase for the 2018-19 school year

Bridgeport schools have been underfunded for years, and it’s time to stop that cycle. Our children are suffering. We’re advocating for more education funding from the state, and for a more equitable state funding formula. But you have power here. Bridgeport receives millions of dollars of municipal aid from the state, and generates millions more in local tax dollars. It’s up to you to decide how to spend that money. Please make Bridgeport’s students your top priority by giving schools the funding they desperately need.

We know you have to prioritize important issues around safety, jobs, taxes, housing, and health. We also know that education is the best long-term investment you can make to address these problems. President Barack Obama said it best: “In the 21st century, the best anti-poverty program around is a world-class education.” You have the power to allocate city funds according to the values in your heart, and in the hearts of your constituents. Vice President Joe Biden said, “Don’t tell me what you value; show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.”

We respectfully urge you to allocate at least $4.25 million in additional local funds to Bridgeport schools.

Pastor William McCullough, Russell Temple CME Church
Archbishop John White, Cathedral of Praise
Bishop Earnest Epps, English Chapel Cathedral of Miracles
Bishop Franklin Fountain, Fountain of Youth Cathedral
Bishop John Diamond, Cathedral of Faith Church of God
Bishop John Thompson, Calvary Temple Christian Center
Bishop Richardo Griffith, Word of Life Ministries
Bishop Theodore Plummer, Full Gospel COGIC
Bishop Varrick Nelson, New Deliverance Family Worship Center
Bishop William Marshall, City of Life Worship Center
Overseer Kenneth Moales, Cathedral of the Holy Spirit
Pastor Alfred Jones, West End Tabernacle CME Church
Pastor Brenda Barnes, Faith Gospel Assembly Church
Pastor Carl McCluster, Shiloh Baptist Church
Pastor Carolyn Evans, Word of Faith Deliverance Center
Pastor Cynthia Bellamy, Faith Outreach Apostolic Church
Pastor Dexter Upshaw, New Vision International Ministries
Pastor Doran Wright, Grace City Church Bridgeport
Pastor Jenice Thompson, Calvary Temple Christian Center
Pastor Joshua Miller, Gospel Light Community Church
Pastor Kenneth DuBose, St. James Missionary Baptist Church
Pastor Kevin Ginyard, Holy City COGIC
Pastor Luis Burgos, City Wide Christian Church
Pastor Moses Mercedes, Prince of Peace Church
Pastor Noemi Reyes-Centeno, Centro Cristiano
Pastor Phyllis Lingard, Generation Joshua Outreach Ministries
Pastor Pyrnie Fitzgerald, Jesus Christ Faith Deliverance Tabernacle
Pastor Sara Kipping, Faith Gospel Assembly Church
Pastor Thomas Hayes, Ebinezer Full Gospel Church
Pastor Victor Centeno, Centro Cristiano
Pastor Warren Godbolt, Enterchange Ministries
Pastor Willie Moye, Holy Tabernacle COGIC
Minister Johnny Johnson, Holy Tabernacle COGIC
Minister Willie Medina, Iglesia Bautista El Calvario
Rev. Brian Shelby Hampton, East End Baptist Tabernacle
Rev. Cass Shaw, Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport
Pastor Earnest Epps, English Chapel Cathedral of Miracles
Pastor Errol Johnson, C.H.U.R.C.H.
Pastor Griselle Hernandez, Ministeria La Nueva Cosecha
Rev. Eleanora Mosely, East End Baptist Tabernacle
Rev. Geraldine McCullough, Russell Temple CME Church
Rev. Richard Sherman, Church of Christ



  1. When the faith based groups start paying taxes like the rest of us then I will listen to what they say. With 42 listed churches thats a lot of tax forgiveness,

  2. Thanks to those who urge this course of action on the CC. Unfortunately there are more faiths active as churches in our community including Roman Catholic that are not seen on this list. I am sure they equally know the value of education and would encourage the CC to remember all of the people in their districts.

    What is missing is a clarion call in August and November, or on whatever days we ask registered voters to come to the polls to elect leaders who will provide the necessary funds and framework in future years. If you have a voting right and fail to use it, can you consider yourself a fighter for justice? How will these faith communities provide solid information to their members so that they may be prepared to vote with intelligence and respect, and later monitor the behavior of the person they elect? Time will tell.


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