Education Advocates Pack City Council Public Hearing For More Dough

school public hearing 2018
Tuesday night public hearing. CT Post photo Linda Conner Lambeck.

Another year, another public hearing, another packed City Council chambers filled by education advocates urging more money for schools. School board members, parents and educators pleaded city councilors for additional funds Tuesday night as the school system faces rising costs against state and federal grant cuts. Mayor Joe Ganim’s $561 proposed budget calls for no tax increase. Of that amount $245.7 million is slated for schools, a majority of that funded by state and federal tax dollars.

CT Post reporter Linda Conner Lambeck has more:

“Thirteen million dollars–Do you know what that is going to do with our district,” Hernan Illingworth, a city school board member said. “Those cuts are going to destroy our district.”

Illingworth was flanked by fellow board members who often don’t get along and sometimes fight. On this issue, they stood united.

Board Chairman John Weldon told members of the Council’s Budget and Appropriations Committee that a cut of this magnitude, coming after three consecutive years of similar cutbacks will cripple a school system already on the brink.

“Who would raise a family here knowing the school system is so strapped it can barely hold its head above water,” Weldon said.

Full story here.



  1. *** Same parade every budget year & always about more money for education, yet money continues to be wasted on over priced items that many times are not needed. And the quality of education being given is still behind in preparing urban kids for the future. The board of Ed never seems to give the B&A committee the exact yearly spending info. Classes continue to be over crowded & students that create continued problems in the class rooms with teachers, are always given the benefit of doubt when it comes to in-forcing the BOE rules! The schools are not safe for students or staff & many parents dump the kids at school with no parental support for their kids or the school. Its time for the state to be more involved in the over seeing of how exactly the schools systems are spending education monies and stop building schools to hold 1000+ kids from K to 8th grade. The middle school complex seems to work much better in many communities instead of crowding so many kids in one large building. K – 5th grade in a smaller school; 6th – 8th grade building, then on to high school. Its time to really look at how education money can be better used to promote safer,better quality education & community involvement smaller schools, instead of just throwing more & more money at education and continue to have the same old problems in urban schools in Ct. ***

  2. Its time for the BOE to make some drastic changes as to the way things are done. Do you want to streamline the education budget? If so bring in 3 senior Bridgeport teachers put them in a room and tell them to come up with a workable budget,I guarantee it will happen.
    The class room need to be used for students to learn and that cant happen if you mix emotionally troubled kids in with the regular students. Ask any teacher and they will tell you the majority of their time is dealing with these troubled kids and the kids that want to learn are screwed.
    While the parents in the photo may be involved the majority of parents view the school system as a baby sitting service.
    Today is report card day along with tomorrow last year my friend who teaches 6th grade and has 20 something kids in her class had 6 parents show up. If this is how the rest of the system is then no wonder education is screwed up.
    The biggest probem as I see it are the PARENTS

    1. Andrew you are 100% right. I will add the 2nd half of the BPT school system’s problem.
      Grades 4-8 34% of the children in BPT who advance (pushed ahead) to the next grade have not met the minimum state standards. Of that 34%, 40% of them shouldn’t have been in the grade they are in. And it’s not the teacher’s decision to advance a child or not they are the baby sitters….
      ***PLEASE IF SOMEONE CAN EXPLAIN TO ME WHO BENEFITS FROM THIS. JOE GANIM and his lit’l puppets don’t give a shit.
      PS the state Board of Ed. is a freaking joke/SCAM and do not act in the best interest of the children.

  3. As painful as it is for me, I must agree with Andy Fardy 100 percent. Not only do I know his friend in question, I have been in every school in the city of Bridgeport. By my choice, I got off the treadmill of a great career, stopped and smelled the roses, enjoyed my magnificent flower and vegetable garden and lived in poverty. Paying nearly half of my yearly salary in healthcare and developed a strong bond with the students , Teachers and Principals in the Bridgeport school system.

    I have always been hopeful and optimistic making my amazing salary that didn’t pay my cable bill. Being substitute is a very thankless position but it was not the money. I certainly could have been certified and made a decent living. A third of the salary I was used to. But I have this strange relationship with this city.

    Andy Fardy is correct. absolutely correct and there is no question. We have some excellent teachers. We have some teachers that should have had their asses kicked to the curb years ago. They are not reviewed like any other company and the union protects those making outrageous salaries. The benefit of having Source4 teachers is so they can can hold substitutes responsible for issues that belong to the school.

    I am sad to agree with Andy Fardy. But what he said is 100 percent true. That is why I am 100 percent supportive of Bridgeport parents sending their children to a charter school of their choice.

    Tom White made the comment the other day stating that our Public Schools do in fact teach about the Holocaust. They do not. But , Bridgeport will be teaching a mandatory class in African American studies and Latin / race relations. Impressive to one of the only 3 school systems in the country. Such an honor for one of the worst school systems in the state. Mandatory means that our students are deprived of creative electives like music,art, photography and Theater.

    I am sad for our students. More money is just not the answer. Discipline and motivation is. The parents are definitely the problem and teachers are not baby sitters. If a student is not prepared for the next level they need to be held back.

    Thank G-d for Classical Academy, Park City Magnet , Multicultural Magnet, Discovery, High Horizons and a few others that give me hope for the next generation. I remain hopeful but more money is not the answer sorry. This is of course my opinion after 6 years in 24 different schools. I have seen it all or pretty close to it. I do miss the kids, but I see them all over the city and they always say hello!!!

  4. The Holocaust is a topic covered in 10th grade social studies.

    The problem in the Bridgeport public school system is the poor behavior of students resulting from poor parenting.

  5. Andy Fardy is right on the money, pardon the pun. Not all parents of Bridgeport’s school children regard the system as a tax payer funded baby sitting service. Many of them do though, not encouraging their children to excel academically. Too many of the kids are advanced to the next grade via “social engineering.” If mom and dad don’t give a shit about education and the school system cannot properly fund and staff its institutions the children are going to believe, rightly, that no one gives a shit.

    This goes a long way toward sustaining a criminal underclass.

  6. I recall my first school system public hearing in 1989. The council chamber was filled with kids, parents, teachers and administrators holding signs and predicting doom and gloom if funding was not increased.

    Those teachers and administrators are likely all retired with generous pensions and health benefits and my property taxes have more than doubled.

    The Bridgeport Public School system is typical of public school systems. It is a bloated bureaucracy with caring, concerned staff that operate by union work rules established to ensure employment for union members and compliance to legislated requirements endorsed by unions.


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