A group of city parents calling themselves Parents for Progress has scheduled a rally for Monday at 11 a.m. in front of City Hall, 45 Lyon Terrace, to encourage support of a mayoral-appointed Board of Education. City voters will decide on Nov. 6 if they want a school board appointed by the mayor or continue with an elected body.
“With just one month until election day, Bridgeport public school parents and citizens have united in support of a local charter revision referendum that will hold the Mayor accountable for school improvements and keep the city’s classrooms moving in the right direction,” according to a statement issued by Excel Bridgeport, a school reform group financing and organizing voter outreach in support of a yes vote on the November 6 ballot question.
Mayor Bill Finch’s campaign organization, through an effort funded largely by the business community, has also begun a public outreach in support of the question that includes phone calls and direct mail pieces. Excel Bridgeport is also financing a series of measures to build public support. More on Excel Bridgeport at www.excelbridgeport.org. Supporters of a yes vote maintain progress was made under a state-appointed school board before the Connecticut Supreme Court invalidated the move and ordered a special election that has now restored an elected body.
Several community organizations are working against the ballot question including the Bridgeport Education Association, Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition and Connecticut’s Working Families Party. All three groups say whatever perceived progress has taken place could have also been done with an elected board. They maintain greater accountability exists with an elected board. How much money the organized opposition spends will be key in its effort to defeat the ballot question.
While election turnout in the city has been pathetic for local races, that won’t be the case in November’s presidential election when more than 50 percent of registered voters are expected to turn out.
Voters will decide this question:
“Shall the City of Bridgeport approve and adopt the Charter changes as recommended by the Charter Revision Commission and approved by the City Council, including education governance reforms?”