Former Board of Education member Maria Pereira no longer attends school board meetings in an official capacity, but she is present at just about every meeting as a citizen. A commentary she wrote for a prior post is republished below describing in part the first regular meeting on Monday as kids head back to school, featuring the incorrigible school board member Ken Moales with whom Pereira had some mighty exchanges while she served on the board.
Tonight was the first BBOE Regular meeting of 2014/2015. Moales was absolutely horrible! He goes into these lengthy dissertations and says the exact same thing over and over again. For those of you who don’t know, Paul Vallas made his administrative assistant (Lissette Colon) into the chief of staff shortly after arriving in Bridgeport. Although his administrative assistant did not posses so much as a community college degree, he raised her salary by approximately $35,000 without bringing it to the BBOE for approval.
Here was someone with no formal education now supervising credentialed professionals with masters and doctorate degrees and earning as much, if not more than these highly educated administrators. I guess Ms. Rabinowitz decided she did not want a chief of staff and deleted the position from the organizational chart with the Board’s approval. This individual was transferred to an HR position and their salary was being reduced by approximately $28,000 to $89,000 annually.
Moales removed it off the consent agenda and the BBOE went into executive session. An hour and a half later, the BBOE came out of executive session and this individual’s salary was magically increased by $11,000. And that folks, is how it works in Bridgeport! What makes this even more outrageous is Moales tried to block the hiring of special education supervisors because Bassick had “rats” and we needed money for the “rat problem.”
During Vallas’ tenure, he decimated special education and advocates filed a formal complaint with the CT State Board of Education. The CSDE found the BBOE was in violation of Child Find which requires the BBOE to identify special needs students and provide the legally mandated services. Meanwhile, Moales has been on the Board since the illegal takeover in 2011 and served as Chair of the BBOE last year and did absolutely nothing about the “rat problem.” The BBOE shouldn’t hire the special education supervisors due to the “rat” issue at Bassick, however there was an additional $11,000 for an uncertified employee with no formal education. You just can’t make this stuff up.