She ends her letter with “warmest regards” but school board member Maria Pereira made clear in a letter to Mayor Joe Ganim and incumbent city councilors in her district that it will be political Armageddon in the Upper East Side where she serves as Democratic district leader if city schools don’t receive $11.4 million more for the budget year that starts July 1.
Pereira is rallying school parents to attend the public hearing on the Board of Education proposed budget April 25, 6 p.m. in City Council Chambers.
A supporter of Ganim’s return to office in 2015 as well as backing 138th City Council candidates Anthony Paoletto and Nessah Smith, Pereira promises to “be walking door-to-door this entire Summer educating 138th voters about how each of you have performed as it relates to keeping your campaign promises.”
Paoletto and Smith are up for reelection. So far they are being challenged by neighborhood activists Gage Frank and Dollie Fonseca. Pereira may back two candidates of her own so it could be a crowded field for two seats in a September Democratic primary.
Ganim is not up for mayoral reelection until 2019 and has already banked about $200,000 for the cause, but he’s also eyeing a potential statewide run in 2018.
Dear Mayor Ganim & City Council Members Anthony Paoletto & Nessah Smith,
I am writing to you in my capacity as both the 138th District Leader and a member of the Bridgeport Board of Education.
The proposed budget presented to the City Council has a ZERO increase yet again, although the school board has made it clear it must have a minimum increase of $11.4 million just to maintain all current staff and programming, and to add back the kindergarten paraprofessionals. As you are fully aware, the BOE requested $15,000,000 LY and you appropriated a ZERO increase. We now have up to 25 five year olds in class 6 1/2 hours per day, five days a week, with only a certified teacher. One staff person must take care of every bathroom need, help them open their milk cartons, etc., all while doing their very best to educate all our kindergartners. We have one Social Worker & Guidance Counselor for every 625 students, which is outrageous.
And to add insult to injury, the budget has an unlawful reduction in the Minimum Budget Requirement of over $2,000,000 where Nestor notified CFO Marlene Seigel that you intend to STEAL these funds to pay for a BPD Lieutenant, Captain, Sargent, five SROs and Crossing Guards. This is defined as THEFT.
Out of 169 school districts, no town/city contributes less to its public schools on a percentage basis, than Bridgeport. You should be completely embarrassed by that statistic.
I have worked tirelessly in the 138th to build the number of voters and to educate them regarding the importance of holding politicians accountable for their campaign promises. I have taught them to NEVER vote for a lying politician because it teaches lying politicians to keep lying. It is my hardwork over the last 3 1/2 years which has made the 138th District the only district with both schools in the top five voter turnout polling locations.
I will be walking door-to-door this entire Summer educating 138th voters about how each of you have performed as it relates to keeping your campaign promises. Unfortunately, so far, it isn’t looking to good. In addition, I was able to keep ALL your campaign literature where all THREE of you placed in writing that you would fund our public schools and make sure they had “the resources” they needed. We will be walking door-to-door with copies of your very own campaign literature.
We have requested and MUST have an additional $11.4 million this upcoming school year or our 21,000 students will face another round of devastating cuts.
This decision is in your hands, however I will be holding you accountable for any decision that negatively impacts our over 21,000 public school students.