Vallas Corrects Record On Special Ed

From the office of Superintendent of Schools Paul Vallas:

It was recently brought to our attention that there is a budget document that has been posted on the City of Bridgeport website that shows a reduction of special education costs by $13,922,510 in the 2012-2013 school year. This information is incorrect. Upon contacting the City we have determined that this document was produced as part of the City’s internal budget process and not meant in any way to accurately reflect the district’s spending allocation for next year. Attached, please find the 2012-13 special education budget, generated from MUNIS, which is reflective of our 2012-13 financial plan.

The 2012-13 special education budget is reduced by approximately $3.6M, in comparison to 2011-12, due to the following factors: Revised Allocation Formula: -$1M (approximate)

o The district has introduced, in 2012-13, an updated formula for allocation of special education teachers and paraprofessionals that is consistent with IEP mandates and takes into consideration student needs. The formula revision is built on a focused realignment of resources, designed to fiscally support the proper staffing levels to meet the individualized instructional needs of our students. Return of Out of District Students: -$2.6M (approximate)

o The district has established new, specialized programs in various schools to accommodate the return of special education students from out of district settings, with parental consent and full compliance with all mandated special education procedures. The continuum of special education services, available within the public schools, has been expanded and enhanced.

While we were unaware of the production of this budget document by the City, we appreciate the opportunity to clarify our plan for delivering full and effective services to our students next year while maintaining a balanced budget. As stated previously, we look forward to publicly releasing our complete line-item budget on Monday, August 27th, at the final Board of Education meeting of the summer. This will be the first time that the district has released its full and complete budget independent from the City, and we look forward to discussing it in full and continuing to maintain a balanced budget that keep our district financially sound for years to come.



  1. Paul–make sure Sherwood doesn’t put your requests and invoices in his lower right-hand drawer and if I may say so, don’t be sure the city budget wasn’t intentional in its line items!

    1. Getting to OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE and TRANSPARENT is slow and difficult for municipal governance. But isn’t it great when both City and Education Department can sort out the accurate from the less than accurate and get word out promptly? Talk about checks and balance working. This is an example where misimpressions or miscommunications about education programs for youths with an IEP and/or the funding of same was quickly dealt with in a manner the public can see and perhaps understand.

      Does anyone else see why I wrote yesterday about how OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE and TRANSPARENT practices serve the public? And why I am hopeful in seeing such a pattern going forward? Everyone gets on the same page, moving towards the long-term objective of improving the education of City youth, and allowing the public to understand the activities and rationale for the changes noted, and that is positive for all (or almost all) stakeholders, right? Time will tell.


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