When It’s Over, Will Paul Vallas And Maria Pereira Send Flowers?

Baraka, Pereira
Maria Pereira, right, with Sauda Baraka during the 2009 school board campaign. Baraka is seeking reelection, Pereira is not.

She has only two months remaining on the Board of Education, but Connecticut Working Families Party spitfire Maria Pereira is not walking away quietly. Pereira and Paul Vallas engaged in another exchange Tuesday night over the appointment of assistant principals. Pereira, the new Bridgeport WFP chair, dropped a salvo promising things are going to change in December, a reference to the new school board makeup poised to challenge the school chief. The super responded to Pereira in part … “the level of misinformation that comes out of your mouth is absolutely incredible.”

Democratic and Working Families Party candidates for school board are not members of the Vallas fan club. The Connecticut Supreme Court will decide if Vallas has the proper legal certification to serve a state school district. What if the Supremes don’t make that decision until after the new school board is seated? Assuming the anti-Vallas faction controls the school board, is it prudent to wait on a decision rather than blow him out? If the Supremes uphold the lower court ruling that declared Vallas’ contract illegal presumably Vallas will be owed nothing.

But what if the Supremes rule for Vallas? Does the new board send him packing? If so, what Vallas initiatives do they also reject? The $11 million federal grant for the new regional magnet school? The $1 million state grant for school security? Chromebooks for every high school student? What about the money teed up for a high school to replace Harding?

Do they fire the man and embrace some of his initiatives? Does that mean they don’t like the man but liked what he did?

Pereira decided not to seek another four-year term this year. Some say she was too much of a lightning rod in the WFP quest to control the school board. Or maybe she had enough of the battles herself? Either way, she’s not going away quietly. And she’ll likely be a presence at school board meetings even when she’s off the board. Maybe she and Vallas will engage just for old time’s sake.



  1. The WFP has no plan for what to do once in control of the school board. None of their rhetoric will fly once it comes time to GOVERN. Good luck to them (they’re gonna need it!) and start praying for Bridgeport’s kiddies now. God save the children!

  2. “a reference to the new school board makeup poised to challenge the school chief.” Lennie, when you wrote that I thought perhaps the Public Schools not only had a policy about school uniforms but also about ‘makeup’ and I was looking for the guidelines that might have been challenging for Paul Vallas.

    Seriously Lennie, have they held the election already? Between your comments and those of Hugh Bailey, it feels somebody can tell us the vote count for anti-Vallas is already totaled. Is that right? Was this an AB count or crystal ball vote or no Republicans can win, or what?
    I have been told the Democratic Challenge slate is anti-Vallas but if they are, that is not what they said candidly to the Concerned Citizens questioners. If they are anti-Vallas at this point perhaps my friends Andre, Howard and Dave will say so and be clear about it, just to assist voters. And if Sauda and Eric are anti-Vallas, in spite of what the Supreme Court will say, it is time to make it clear, isn’t it?
    Is anybody else curious in this regard? If they all have declared Vallas should be off the island, will somebody let me know, please? Time will tell.

    1. JML, barring two Republicans winning in November, the WFP will have coalition control of the school board. The WFP wants Vallas out. The teacher’s union backing the winning Democratic school board challengers in the primary, and also the WFP, want Vallas out. Now perhaps some members of the new-look board will have a change of heart when it comes to Vallas, or maybe the Connecticut Supreme Court will make it all moot. Point I’m making is the new board will be seated with a flood of new money coming into the district as a result of Vallas.

  3. “and what I am saying to you is that in December things are going to change.”

    That is part of Ms. Pereira’s quote in the CT Post. And for those who know her, this is her true nature. Not interested in compromise or seeing any side other than her own. It has gotten her in trouble in the past.
    On another comments section of this blog, someone commented we would be better off with a completely new board. I would agree. Ms. Pereira not deciding to run is a good start. I like the challenge slate that won the primary. I am hoping the firing of Vallas is not a foregone conclusion. If the state court approves him, keep him for a year–see if these programs work out before throwing it all away. The only ones suffering are the kids. They are already in a tough situation, do not make it tougher with the constant upheaval caused by the bickering of the “adults” in charge.

  4. *** Just what has Ms. Pereira & Co. done that could be considered as positive things for the Bpt school system and the BOE during her time on the board besides being labeled an obstructionist? Not being a constant admin rubber-stamp is all well and shows independence when dealing with important school agendas but in the end, what good serious BOE business at hand was accomplished? *** WHEN IT COMES TO VALLAS VS PEREIRA, JUST WHO IS ZOOMING WHOM? ***

  5. This just in. The Tea Party is over. The Mad Hatter has gone home. The Senate and the House have overwhelmingly approved the DEMOCRATIC plan to reopen the government and to lift the debt ceiling.
    The Republican House taught us all a lesson in how not to negotiate. What happens if you do not have a Plan B.
    Long live Obamacare.

  6. Just once I would like to see the Board of Education spend less time on power plays and political games and more time on the kids who are being victimized by one of the worst school systems.

    It is time to start putting the kids first.

  7. Bridgeport will never put the kids first. Firstly, the Bridgeport community doesn’t give a crap, and secondly, the politicians are too afraid to really do the right thing.


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