UPDATE: Former Board of Education member Maria Pereira shares her take on Monday night’s school board meeting.
Tonight Attorney Mooney from Shipman & Goodman was present for the 5:00 PM Special Meeting. The usual Ex$ell Bridgeport parents and paid charter school parents were also present.
Norm Pattis was also present and this discussion was held in public view. As the agenda item of “Discussion and Possible Action on DPAC Leadership” came up, Fran Rabinowitz distributed a six-page memorandum about the DPAC, Title I, BBOE Policies, etc. to each BBOE member and extras were distributed to the public. We obtained several copies. How do you distribute a six-page memorandum to the BBOE members as the item is being discussed?
The last page was a five-paragraph motion regarding continuing a DPAC, but removing the 10 member DPAC Executive Board in which nine members were elected to a two-year term by parents in a city-wide election in April 2013, and I was appointed to fulfill the remainder of a term due to a resignation. The term expires June 30, 2015 and the new elections were scheduled for April 30, 2015.
Andre Baker looked like an absolute fool. He made the motion and attempted to read the five paragraph into the record. He could not read and literally Norm Pattis was giggling while seated next to me. Moales seconded the motion. After about an hour of debate with Sauda Baraka and Howard Gardner making it clear that this was simply an attempt by certain BBOE members to remove the executive board because the majority of us have stood against Dave Hennessey, Joe Larcheveque, Hernan Illingworth, Kenneth Moales, Andre Baker and Kadisha Coates. Howard stated it was pure retaliation and politics at its worst.
The vote was 6-2 with Kelleher absent. Hennessey, Larcheveque, Moales, Coates, Baker and Illingworth voted in favor. Baraka and Gardner against.
Pattis leaned over to me and said “this is just another coup.” I told him I felt the same way and had posted it on OIB.
After the meeting adjourned, Linda Lambeck rushed over to Norm Pattis and asked him for a quote. He said “I look forward to having Andre Baker read something on the stand. Mayor Finch has bigger problems than Bridgeport’s children can’t read, he has a board member that can’t read.” It was hysterical!
Think about it, Kadisha Coates a charter school parent, Joe Larcheveque a charter school parent and Kenneth Moales who has no children in the public schools and will be serving on Dr. Perry’s Charter School Governing Council just voted to remove the entire DPAC Executive Board that has volunteered over 50,000 hours in the BPS. Non-BPS parents are attacking true BPS parents and interfering with the parent organization that has existed for 45 years without interference.
Original post: Megan DeSombre’s take here. The Board of Education has scheduled a special meeting Monday (today) 5 p.m. at Skane School for “Discussion and possible action on District PAC Leadership.” In a letter to education chief Fran Rabinowitz, legal slinger Norm Pattis, representing the Parent Advisory Council, schools her about state law limiting items in executive session outside of public view. PAC supporters say city officials are intruding in leadership business. Jonathan Pelto has more here. Pattis letter:
It has come to our attention that the Bridgeport Board of Education issued an agenda for Monday, February 23, 2015 at 5:00 p.m., on which an agenda item is: “Discussion and possible action on District PAC Leadership.” The agenda also suggests that this issue may potentially be handled in executive session.
As you are aware, the public has a constitutional and statutory right to be present at school board meetings. Under the state’s Freedom of Information Act, public access to such hearings may be limited only under very limited circumstances. In fact, there are only five such exemptions. They are: “(A) Discussion concerning the appointment, employment, performance, evaluation, health or dismissal of a public officer or employee, provided that such individual may require that discussion be held at an open meeting; (B) strategy and negotiations with respect to pending claims or pending litigation to which the public agency or a member thereof, because of the member’s conduct as a member of such agency, is a party until such litigation or claim has been finally adjudicated or otherwise settled; (C) matters concerning security strategy or the deployment of security personnel, or devices affecting public security; (D) discussion of the selection of a site or the lease, sale or purchase of real estate by a political subdivision of the state when publicity regarding such site, ‘lease, sale, purchase or construction would cause a likelihood of increased price until such time as all of the property has been acquired or all proceedings or transactions concerning same have been terminated or abandoned; and (E) discussion of any matter which would result in the disclosure of public records or the information contained therein described in subsection (b) of section 1-210.”
‘ See Conn. Gen. Stat. § 1-200(6).
It is the position of the PAC that the present issues concerning PAC leadership falls under none of the enumerated categories and, as such, the issue does not qualify for discussion in executive session. Any action taken in executive session would be in violation of the Freedom of Information Act and will be challenged by the PAC.