With all eight remaining Board of Education members in attendance, five of them Thursday night selected a charter school parent Kadisha Coates to fill the vacancy of the resigned John Bagley in a vote at the Aquaculture School.
Board members Ken Moales, Joe Larcheveque, David Hennessey, Andre Baker and Hernan Illingworth voted for Coates after hearing from five candidates for the position, all members of the Working Families Party, the line Bagley won for his school board seat.
Coates, 34, who has a child in a charter school, told the school board in an open interview session she wants Bridgeport students “To have the same opportunities as Greenwich.”
She moved to Bridgeport 15 years ago looking for proper placement for her children. She said she had friends who moved from Bridgeport because of the school system and placed a child in a charter school.
When asked about her position on charter schools and vouchers, anathema to many public school advocates, she sidestepped adding “Our main focus should be to improve our schools.” Charter schools receive public funds but operate independently of traditional public schools.
Board members Sauda Baraka and Howard Gardner voted for Andrea Clarke, a paralegal and mother of two. Jacqui Kelleher voted for Greenwich school music teacher Ben Walker.
Coates herself will add her voice to two key upcoming votes, for the chairmanship of the school board currently occupied by Baraka, in December and filling the expected resignation of Baker in January who was elected to the State House last week.
CT Post scribe Linda Conner Lambeck has more here.