Read The Budget, First Public Hearing On April 18

Mayor Joe Ganim has proposed a city budget that includes a modest election-year tax cut. The spending plan is now in the hands of the City Council’s Budget and Appropriations Committee that will spend the next four weeks reviewing the document, interviewing department heads and implementing changes. Three public hearings are scheduled, the first April 18. See budget hearing schedule below. See $564 million proposed budget here.

The attached Budget Meeting schedule has been revised to include the following changes:

The General Budget/Capital Plan Discussion has been removed from the schedule for Tuesday, April 9, 2019.

Public Facilities scheduled for April 10, 2019 has been rescheduled to Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.

Health & Social Services Department scheduled for April 11, 2019 has been rescheduled to Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.

The Public Hearing re: Board of Education/Library scheduled for April 18, 2019 has been rescheduled to Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.

The Public Hearing re: Public Safety/Capital Plan/General City Budget scheduled for April 23, 2019 has been rescheduled to Thursday, April 18, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.

Labor Relations/Civil Service/Benefits scheduled for April 24, 2019 has been rescheduled to Thursday, April 25, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.

The General Budget Discussion has been removed from the schedule for Thursday, April 25, 2019.

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9 comments

  1. It’s a shame that after having very successful, well attended, community conversations shut down, due to complaints from city officials, that the city turns around and schedules the education budget hearing for a day IN THE MIDDLE OF SPRING BREAK! A date, such as this, that does not take into account (or does it) that many teachers, students and families travel at this time of year. So I’d like to ask that all voters from all districts to call their city council official and ask that the date be restored to the usual date that allows for the LARGEST number of constituents to be hard from. If you cannot speak during spring break be sure to speak in SEPTEMBER or NOVEMBER.

    1. Certainly this must have just been an oversight as no one in Bridgeport’s government would ever deny the public an opportunity to appear, listen, and speak out concerning ANY matter which would have an impact on the citizenry at large……. yeah right.

    2. Many parents, students and especially staff will be away on vacation during the Public Hearing on the Board of Education Budget. The Public Hearing MUST be rescheduled.

      On Page 9 of the Budget, Mayor Ganim is not only proposing NO INCREASE for the fourth consecutive year; he is attempting to reduce our Operating Budget by over $200,000 in violation of state law.

      On the last line, BOE Other, states a reduction of over $900,000.

      Mayor Ganim must be exposed in every way possible. In 2015, Ganim promised to fund the Bridgeport Public Schools. He is a shameless liar.

      Let me be clear, if this passes, schools will be closed.

      1. Our CFO, Marlene Siegel has explained the items referenced above.

        The state provided municipalities with an additional ECS Grant due to large influxes of students from Puerto Rico due to the tragic hurricane. It was not guaranteed to continue in 2019/2020. The current state budget does not show that ECS Grant continuing, therefore a proper adjustment was made for the $200,000 reduction.

        For the 2018/2019 Budget, both CFO Siegel & OPM Nekwo misunderstood a state budget document and calculated an additional $1,000,000 in ECS funding. Both the City Council & Board of Education adopted their budgets to include the additional $1,000,000 in ECS funding in error. The City is simply created a separate “BOE other” line in their budget to account for the over $900,000 that they had placed in their Budget last year. We never received the over $900,000 this school year, therefore this is not a real reduction. It is just an accounting measure to reflect the adjustment.

        If this budget passes in its current form, the most underfunded school district in CT will have made $58,000,000 in cuts under Ganim’s current term.

  2. Maria
    I saw that too we will address that went the time comes. Thanks for mentioning me at your Board of Education meeting when you had it out with Albert Benejan. People who attended said Maria loves mentioning you. i should be so Lucky

  3. Ernie,

    I NEVER said one word about you at the Special Meeting where Albert Benejan behaved inappropriately.

    We discussed five of our schools entering the Commissioner’s Network, Robert’s Rules of Order and the Freedom of Information Act.

    How would referencing you jive with any of those matters?

    1. Maria Pereira, I understand that 5 schools are being considered for entrance into the Commissioner’ Network. Can you share with us which schools are being considered; any savings or extra expenditures to the district; and if approved, can or could this help to avoid any school closing?

      1. The schools are Barnum, Waltersville, Blackham, Bryant and Geraldine Johnson.

        If a school is accepted, they get a grant of up to $50,000 for the first year. They then enter the Commissioner’s Network for a minimum of 3 years with a maximum of 5 years. They get additional funding to execute their plan. This was part of Governor Malloy’s 2012 Education Bill.
        They get anywhere from $500,000 to a $1.5 million in year one, less the second year which then is reduced the third year. Then the money just disappears.

        The grants have been significantly reduced due to the state’s fiscal crisis. Roosevelt just entered this school year. They will have about $600,000 next year in year one. They will be lucky to get $250,000 by year three.

        We have had 4 schools enter and exit the Commissioner’s Network with no substantive improvements. Three of the four schools were thrown into turmoil and chaos.

        Curiale School was the first and showed slight academic gains and improvements around discipline and suspensions.

        Luis Marin & Dunbar have been horrible. Luis Marin required EVERY staff member to reapply for their jobs. There was massive turnover and disruption. This school has one of the highest English Language Learner populations in CT. Luis Marin showed no gains academically with significant increases in behavioral issues and suspensions. Fran Rabinowitz brought in a principal from Hamden which created further disruption. Children must feel a connection with the adults in their school to effectuate meaningful progress. That can’t happen when every adult they know is ripped from their school.

        Columbus School has been in it for two years with no significant academic, attendance or disciplinary gains.

        Dunbar School was turned over to Dr. Sharpe from Jumoke Charter School. It was a DISASTER. The required every staff member to reapply for their positions. Almost all of them were replaced with novice teachers, many were from Teach for America. The turnover of their new teachers were massive with 5 quitting in the first 60 days. “Dr.” Sharpe had never received a doctorate. He was a convicted felon that had served federal prison time in California for embezzling over $100,000 in tax payer funds and tax fraud. He was a complete fraud.It was revealed a sex offender was working in the school. The FBI, state Board of Education, the Hartford BOE & Bridgeport BOE all launched investigations. Both Hartford and Bridgeport fired his school management company and Dunbar, it’s staff, students and parents were thrown into absolute chaos and turmoil.

        This will not impact or stop school closures in any way.

    2. Pereira’s comment:

      Fluffy, you would. You are just like Ernie Newton. You cannot spell, capitalize, punctuate or right a comprehensive sentence, yet you want to serve on the school board.

      You have so much in common with Ernest Newton. You did mention Me. WHY?

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