School Board Restores Bus Routes For Students

The Board of Education Monday night, urged by Mayor Joe Ganim, restored bus routes that impact student walking distances to school.

The decision comes with the September 10 primary just two weeks away.

Statement from Ganim:
“I am pleased to hear this news that the Board has accepted our proposal put together with the City Council that will allow for the bus routes to be restored, as this also involves student safety. I appreciate the partnership with the Superintendent, the BOE, and our council members, and am looking forward to working on future projects that will have a positive impact for our students.”

From CT Post reporter Linda Conner Lambeck:

City students who qualified for school bus transportation last year will get it in the new school year that starts on Thursday.

In a stunning reversal, the city school board voted 7-2 on Monday to rescind a policy that would have forced high school students to walk up to 2.25 miles to school and elementary and middle school students up to 1.5 miles.

The board last week voted to rescind the policy but only on the condition that the City Council and Mayor Joseph Ganim agree to chip in $1.4 million toward the cost, this year and in the future.

Acting Schools Superintendent Michael Testani told the board that Ganim has told him he would not to commit to funding the annual expense beyond this year.

Full story here.

Video from Tony Barr’s Facebook page. He is challenging outgoing school board member Maria Pereira in a City Council primary.



  1. “Acting Schools Superintendent Michael Testani told the board that Ganim has told him he would not to commit to funding the annual expense beyond this year.”
    Was this the best result Testani could secure from City Hall?? After all he was invited to the Mayor’s Office for a conversation. The City has the money obviously. Was that ever in question? But the funds have been withheld for all of Ganim2’s years, even after the reversion of his campaign promise not to increase City taxes.
    Quality pre-K for all youth? Paraprofessional aids in classroom settings? Certified math and literacy “teacher coaches” as part of Principals’ school goals? Literacy and math Interventionists?
    These are some of the items that have been cut, ignored or dropped from funding due to Ganim2’s ignoring City school operating budget needs.
    Instead he favors athletic uniforms, school buses and other “soft dollar” issues that he can brandish WITH NO FURTHER COMMITMENT TO THOSE STUDENTS IN 2019 AT ELECTION TIME. Is this what happens when residents do not register, or not vote? Is it hardball or bullying?? Or “He who has the GOLD can make (and BREAK) the rules? Time will tell.

    1. JML, all of the items that have been “Acting” Schools Superintendent Michael Testani as restored back to the school system plus all of the items that you listed that are not in the City budget are ALL NEEDED to give Bridgeport a first rated school system which would require higher taxes is what is needed to jump start the City’s ability to encourage businesses to relocate to Bridgeport. The first class public school system is an investment into the future of Bridgeport, it gives the students the education to be able to be a more productive citizen and gives new businesses a quality of life reason to do business here for their employees to reside here in Bridgeport but Joe Ganim doesn’t have a vision for Bridgeport to uplift it, no his vision is for Joe Ganim staying in office at expense of our 21,000 plus school students.

      1. Bridgeport doesn’t need to raise taxes to pay for a first rate public school system. We need to remove a mayor that is more interested in building high end restaurants for his swell friends down county than the business of the people of the city of Bridgeport. Time to vote the bum out. Rich De Parle will hire him.

    2. I’m I missing something? Wasn’t it said Finch received 7 million for the BBOE in a single year? JML, when you speak of who has the GOLD, doesn’t the state provides most of the school funding and the BBOE had to my 50 million in cuts since Ganim was reelected. When you speak of all the cuts you aforementioned, I believe we need to look at the governor and those elected to Hartford for that pot of GOLD that makes and breaks the rules. Or I’m at error again?

      1. RT, I thought you had reported you were gone for the season? BAM!
        Now you ask about Finch and money?
        First in Bridgeport there are two “budgets” to keep your eyes on separate from each other usually, because the usual “last word” on each is by law assigned to a different City player with such power. One is the annual operating budget that the Mayor and his financial folks present to the City Council in the spring (and it does include many pages of the BOE operating budget though the BOE has its own Finance Officer, familiar with the complexities of State law, State revenue flows, grants and contracted expenses among other things). Then the City has a Capital budget where the City Council meets to review the City Capital Plan and annually authorizes a listing of OPED, Police, Fire, Parks, schools and other long term projects usually that will be around long enough to justify 20 year funding with bonds. City Council takes a first round vote during the year that sets the Capital Plan, but only is an OK on the items. THEY DO NOT PRIORITIZE THE CAPITAL ITEMS IN ANY PUBLIC MANNER. But they do return when ready to go to the bond market and identify the projects previously approved, now requesting authorization to fund by borrowing.

        With that background, if you are still with me, remember that the State of CT makes lots of rules that must be adhered to. However, they do not fund 100% of “payments in lieu of taxes” PILOT for the City. And they do not fund Educational Cost Sharing (ECS) revenues in a manner equivalent to the funding of other poor urban districts. The City by law is committed to funding no less in a future year for BOE purpose than they did in a previous year. That is termed “minimum budget requirement” (MBR). You may notice that while school buses are for kids going to and from school, Ganim2 has purposely entered a deal to avoid responsibility for continuing to fund this in 2020-21. WHAT POLITICAL VOTE OR ADVANTAGE WILL HE SEEK TO LEVERAGE NEXT YEAR IF HE COMES UP WITH “ADMINISTRATIVE FLAT FUNDING” FOR THE CURRENT 2019-20 SCHOOL YEAR??

        And the State has complicated formulas to determine the exact % they will pay towards the cost of new school buildings or significant renovations also. Generally that number on projects completed in recent years is around 80%. When Capital Projects are approved, authorized and ultimately funded, some good things happen.
        **The youth who attend classes and staff also enjoy bright and shiny environments that are designed to enhance actual teaching and learning.
        **The City Total Grand List (not to be confused with the City Net Taxable Grand List) increases by the value of the project as local property taxpayers only fund 20% of the project. That is ultimately positive for our City balance sheet.
        **Businesses who do all types of contracting and services have a chance to bid on these project dollars. And those businesses provide jobs too over construction periods. Does that directly affect Bridgeport based businesses? Or likely fund those who can afford to fund ‘MACHINE BASED” incumbents?
        **Dollars approved by the State and City governance structures? Shovels in the ground? Time for ribbon cutting? All photo ops only?? For when BOE expenses and revenues are ignored with flat funding for years, the hypocrisy factor becomes huge and the public grows cynical.

        Back to your question: Was Finch’s $7 Million capital or ECS revenue, or perhaps a grant?? It was State money, but who cares today when the State education funding scene is likely broke or in genuine disarray, without necessary priorities. And lots of communities competing for scarce resources? Got it? Going to have a background for some internet research so that you can become as “school savvy” as Maria Pereira? Time will tell.

        1. What thread did I say that on? BAM!

          I love how you addressed my 7 million dollar question that ultimately ended in a question.

          Did or did not the BBOE give Finch 7 million dollars in a single year from their budget that could of when to the students?

          Isn’t Bridgeport students the most under-funded school system out of all the communities competing for those scarce resources?

          Is there any community that has its students wall two + miles to school?

          Not that I’m a bad guy, I like the fact that the state is rebuilding our schools. After Bassick is complete. The need to continue updating, remolding the older ones in the city.

          P.S Believe it or not, I graduated for high school in the Port, two in fact, and when I when back to school, Housatonic Community College was on Barnum Ave, an old industrial factory. Nothing about that said high education. It was a sad sight. The learning environment is the most important aspect of education for the students and the teachers, besides getting them there. Not dismissing the quality of personnel, and many other factors. but if you don’t give students a decent environment. A lot will get lost. JS

          1. By-the-way JML. when I graduated from Central and Tech (share-time) I wasn’t even spelling my last name correctly, more vowels than consonants two “E” two “I”. They don’t even do anything, they are just there to fuck you up. 🙂

  2. Chair John Weldon and our highly unqualified ACTING Superintendent are Mario Testa and Mayor Ganim puppets.

    In a bi-partisan manner the Board voted 7 to 1, with Chris Taylor absent as usual and John Weldon voting no, to accept the “smoke and mirrors'” $5.5 million dollar Budget Gap plan, which included restoring bus transportation distances to two miles for high schools and 1.0 miles for elementary students on the condition that Mayor Ganim and the City Council transfer the entire $1,653,000 to the Board of Education as required by state law to lock into the MBR and to ensure the Board allocated the funds to pay our bills, not Mayor Ganim or the City Council.

    There is only one reason Mayor Ganim and the City Council would not want to do it. That reason they do not want to lock it into the MBR is because Mayor Ganim and the majority of the City Council have no intention to give those funds to the BOE next year.

    As I was trying to explain to the small crown in attendance that Mayor Ganim and the City Council have created the BOE’s financial crisis and that this was a political ploy by Mayor Ganim 13 days before the Democratic Primary, that little, tiny man John Weldon tried to stop me from exposing Ganim. I talked right over that peon.

    We had Charter $school people speaking as if the Board has ANY obligation to Charter $school parents/students. We do not.

    Not a single person that spoke about restoring bus transportation distances spoke at a single City Council B & A Hearing on the BOE budget.

    We had the larger than life Tina Manus there who resides in Stratford and who appears to be desperate to entrench herself in Bridgeport.

  3. I specifically asked John Weldon how a 7 to 1 vote can suddenly be reversed. I went on to ask him did he have any communications with school board members regarding to change their previous vote. He lied on the record and said he had not.

    I repeatedly asked for clarification to ensure the distance for high school students would be applied to EVERY high school student. The elitist Fairchild Wheeler School students were receiving bus transportation for EVERY Bridgeport student, even if they lived four blocks away, while EVERY Bassick,,Harding,Central and BMA student had to walk if they lived within two miles.

    That POS Mike Testani did everything in his power to dance around my question. I told him it was a yes or no question. He danced around like John Travolta.

    The Board Policy is clear, high school students MUST walk if they live within two miles. There is NO exception for FCW students.

    To say every other student has to walk while FCW students are getting transportation just 4 and 6 blocks away from FCW is outrageous. All our students are deserving, not just FCW students.

    Every Ganim puppet voted to allow Mayor Ganim and the City Council to VIOLATE state law requiring the Mayor and City Council to appropriate funds to the BOE because WE are the elected officials that govern the BPS. They have no authority to directly fund anything within the BPS.

    John Weldon, Jessica Martinez, Hernan Illingworth,Sybll Allen, Chris Taylor, Joseph Lombard , and Marilyn Moore’s puppet Joseph Sokolovic actually voted for this.

    They voted to violate state law.

    Only Lamar Kennedy and I had the fortitude to vote no.

    Do not vote for a single endorsed Democrat or Republican. The Republican Party is a subsidiary of the corrupt DTC.

    1. What this vote proved to me is that Marily Moore’s Board of Ed candidates would be no different than Joe Ganim’s in ensuring the laws that govern local school boards and funding are adhered to.

      Joseph Sokolovic is one of Marilyn Morre’s most vocal supporters and he voted to allow Mayor Ganim and the City Council to violate the law and the Minimum Budget Requirement.

      If he voted for Mayor Ganim to violate the law he would absolutely do it for a Mayor Moore.

        1. Samia and I are on Row B and are not in any way on Marilyn Moore’s “ticket.”

          Marilyn Moore and her “ticket” will benefit from being on Row B with Samia and I on Row B in the 138th District, not the other way around.

          1. Maria…your posts are becoming increasingly Anti-Moore. Obviously,your campaigning for your goal for CC is your first priority and I REALLY want you to win to replace the puppets that are in the 138th district. But if you “diss” Marilyn Moore,this may come back to haunt you. My sincere thoughts. Thank you.

      1. Umm, I did not vote to violate the law I voted to restore bus routes. It is Joe Ganim and the City Council (or the city of Bridgeport should Ganim Lose and Ms Moore not doing the legal thing) that will be violating the law if they don’t add this to the MBR. Once the city violates the law we can initiate legal action. If you had any emotional intelligence whatsoever you’d be an asset to the city, yet you just time after time have tantrums like a little girl when you don’t get way. That’s why you’ll never achieve citywide office again in your life and as I said before, I can’t wait til December when you will be relegated to two minutes of public comment.

        1. Joe,

          You voted to rescind the new transportation distances and reinstate the former transportation being fully that you would be adding $1.4 million in transportation costs to our budget and Mayor Ganim and the City Council would NOT be transferring $1.4 million to the BOE as required by state law. Am I correct?

          The guy who won one election in his life, doesn’t have any significant base of support, is a carpetbagger, and raised less than $1,000 for a citywide race has the nerve to state that I will “never achieve citywide office again in your (my) life…” I assure you we shall see. 🙂

      2. Maria…. what makes you say that Moore’s Board of Ed candidates would be no different from GanimTesta’s puppets.. I just don’t understand that statement. Every Anti-Moore statement NOW becomes a pro Ganim statement.

  4. Maria, you are not exposing something that is obvious. It should have never been cut in the first place. Asking kids to walk 45minute to an hour to school, is just impractical. It’s like walking from St. Vincent Hospital to Trumbull Mall. A ploy or not, call it out for what it is, using the kids as a political tool, but you can’t vote against it. Then you are hurting to kids for your political fight. JS

    P.S. Classes are starting today, and I can’t focus on two things. I have a one-track mind. Peace out OIB, Best ESL Class I have ever taken. JML, Day, Ron, TBK, Maria, and Ernie, it was a pleasure. See you in the spring. 🙂

    1. I am certainly not going to vote to violate state law regarding the MBR and the elected school boards’ authority to govern the BPS.

      The Board had already voted 7 to 1 to restore the original walking distances on the condition that Mayor Ganim and the City Council tranfer the full $1,653,000 into the MBR as required by state law.

      This vote was to restore the walking distances WITHOUT the Mayor and City Council transferring the money to the Board of Education which is required by state law.

    2. RT
      I don’t agree with you a lot but you spoke to maria who cares nothing about our children only about her self and hating everyone who doesn’t kiss her A__.She hates Joe Ganmin Mario and the DTC so bad that it blinds her from doing anything positive on the Board Of Education. The only reason she like John Ricc is willingness to listen to her Bull – Sh__ and his 1000.00 dollar contribution to her campaign. I know people are so happy she will not sit on the BD Of Education any longer.
      Rob enjoy your time off of OIB!

      1. Ernie, Likewise.

        My main point was it should have never been cut in the first place and those who voted for it, voted against the children, and for the political game. Walking a distance from St. Vincent to Trumbull Mall is beyond comprehension. And that’s all that being played out. A political game.

        I agree hatred is blinding. Don’t let your hatred for Maria blind you. Notwithstanding the “challenge”, You jump on Tony’s video just to get Maria. Let it go. Who knows, you are probably in a sound position to win a State Rep. seat in the house.

        Until then, and If she wins the council seat it just ups her game with Joe, Mario, the DTC, and you. Ernie, you and Maria would-be colleagues. 🙂

        P.S Maria and Ernie. I hope I pass my exams like you two passed your drug test. 🙂

      2. Maria is as been said a mother would jump in front of a bus to save her child. Sorry I would never impose on you to violate you principles on your endeavor to fight for the safety and will being of the children in the BPS system. I personally would have never voted to cut them in the first place or voted against reinstating it. For at the end of the day it’s about the kids, right. By-the-way who voted to cut them in the first place? Just asking.

        P.S how are those ABs coming along. 🙂

        1. Was that is why you called Tony a POS in his video? Who did the same thing to Dennis? 🙂

          “Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme liberty.’ – Plato

          “A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers – Plato

          Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.

          I was really too honest of a man to become a politician and live.- SOCRATES

          P.S Maria, as you walk miles to educating the votes, how are the AB’s coming along. 🙂 BAM! 🙂

          1. P.S.
            “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” – Socrates

            “I decided that it was not wisdom that enabled poets to write their poetry, but a kind of instinct or inspiration, such as you find in seers and prophets who deliver all their sublime messages without knowing in the least what they mean. – Socrates.


      3. Hey Moses,

        You can’t blame Maria Pereira for the BOE’s dysfunction. She has the interests of the city’s school children at the top of her agenda.

        1. I’ll be taking classes at Housatonic starting this week. Perhaps we could meet. I’d like to discuss this term “loser” you are throwing around with an apparent desire to offend.

  5. Maria,did you realize your stalker,Tony Barr was recording the meeting Monday Night and giving his take on it every now and then?,It’s on his FB..

    1. I didn’t know then, however I received messages about it.

      Let me share with you how unbalanced, dishonest and unethical Tony Barr is.

      Tony Barr called my running mate Samia on Sunday to urgently speak with her. He was adamant they meet and she did.

      He told her that I was very close to and aligned with Mayor Ganim and showed her pictures of us speaking with each other at his first fundraiser at Vazzano’s in 2015. Samia told him those pictures were from four yesrs ago and he was adamant they were recent

      He then told Samia that I am very close to CityCouncilwoman Karen Jackson and working to help her get re-elected and that I was working against Samia.

      Clearly he wanted to divide Samia and I so that Samia would help him at JFK.

      Samia said she wanted to call me and put me on speaker phone. He told her she shouldn’t call me. Samia didn’t believe it for one second

      This disgusting, unethical criminal who constantly harasses me is who Marilyn Moore has aligned herself with

      Is this not a reflection on Marilyn Moore and her absolutely poor judgement?

  6. Interesting that Little Joe Ganim would say “I am pleased to hear this news that the Board has accepted our proposal put together with the City Council that will allow for the bus routes to be restored, as this also involves student safety. I appreciate the partnership with the Superintendent, the BOE, and our council members, and am looking forward to working on future projects that will have a positive impact for our students.”

    This is a problem he created. Like his hero Donald Trump he tried to take credit for solving it. Is there anyone in this town that still thinks this charlatan deserves another term?

  7. Maria, didn’t you get a protection order against Barr last year?Honestly I hope it’s still in effect if you did. The guy is a wack job, and I’m a bit concerned about him stalking you again.Carry mase with you at least, he seems like he can lose it at any point now.Stay safe.

    1. No, I didn’t.

      Judge Bellis told him he was to stop posting videos about me or there may be a different outcome for him if we were to return to court.

      His behavior is escalating and it does concern me.


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