School Board Resumes Community Forums

Superintendent of Schools Aresta Johnson.

From Board of Education Chair John Weldon:

In the beginning of February, the Bridgeport Board of Education cancelled a series of what were termed “Community Conversations” related to the BOE’s 2019-2020 Budget. This was done because they had turned into politicized forums by some people (though not members of the public) who chose to use them to derogate the Mayor and City Council, instead of using them to send a united message about the importance of our budgetary needs. From the beginning this cancellation was a mechanism to hit the “pause” button while it was considered how our budgetary needs could best be brought to the public so they could engage their elected officials. We are now in a position to resume them, with the help of some community organizations who have agreed to provide a platform for the Superintendent of Schools to present the budget and answer questions about it. Over the coming weeks, the Budget will be discussed at the following forums, graciously hosted by the Greater Bridgeport NAACP, We the Village, Make the Road Connecticut and Bridgeport Caribe Youth Leaders:

Tues., March 19, 2019 – 6:00 p.m.
Host: Greater Bridgeport NAACP Education Committee
Presentation: “Where’s Your Money Going”
Location: Bridgeport Public Library, 925 Broad St., Bridgeport

Wed., March 20, 2019 – 6:00 p.m.
Host: We the Village
Presentation: “A Celebration of Students and Community Engagement”
Location: Bridgeport Public Library, 925 Broad St., Bridgeport

Wed., March 27, 2019 – 6:30 p.m.
Host: Make the Road Connecticut
Presentation: “2019 Budget Forum”
Location: Make the Road CT Offices, 850 State St., Bridgeport

Sat., April 6, 2019 – 10:00 a.m.
Host: Bridgeport Caribe Youth Leaders
Presentation: “2019 Budget Forum”
Location: University of Bridgeport, 126 Park Ave., Bridgeport



  1. IMHO,something stinks here. First of all,was this a decision by the ENTIRE BOE? This announcement was signed by John Weldon. Why are outside organizations being “hosts” for these events? Why are NONE of these events not being held in Bridgeport Public School Buildings. Won’t this confuse parents etc that meetings about BPT schools are not being held in actual BPT public school buildings? Maybe I am cynical but this has all the signs of a Weldon run-around.

    1. IF…IF…this is a Weldon runaround,then Superintendent of Schools Dr. Arresta Johnson should NOT be participating nor should the fine community organizations be hosting a political run around-if that’s what these are. BTW,the first one is TOMORROW night. Talk about short notice. These are my thoughts and I will stand corrected if I am wrong. Thank you.

      1. Ok. From what I have heard the BOE voted to approve these meetings at the BOE meeting Monday night. I don’t have the exact roll call but I can only assume that The Testa puppets followed orders and set up this runaround.

  2. All these organizations will be directly asked as to why they decided to play a part in this charade. The Greater Bridgeport NAACP,,We The Village,Make The Road Connecticut,Bridgeport Caribe Youth Network. Why are these organizations allowed themselves to be used by TestaGaninWeldon?

    1. John Weldon,Jessica Martinez, Hernan Illingworth, Sybil Allen and Chris Taylor voted to cancel our highly successful Community Conversations for purely political reasons.

      There was an outcry by the community. I made a motion to add the Community Conversations to our regular meeting agenda after every person during public comment opposed the cancellation. John Weldon, Jessica Martinez, Sybil Allen and Dennis Bradley voted AGAINST adding it to the agenda.

      Now, they are trying to create the illusion that they have rescheduled forums. Not in our neighborhood schools where parents, grandparents, and staff can easily attend, but in the library downtown. Do you have any idea how many of our parents don’t have a vehicle?

      I will not be silenced. I will be exposing Ganim’s and the City Council members record on funding our schools at tomorrow’s forum.

  3. How did the leadership of the Bridgeport NAACP get fooled into this sponsorship of the TestaRAts BOE fake community forums. The si called leadership of the Bridgeport NAACP will be asked direct questions at their regular monthly meeting at Burroughs CommunitynCenter. How did the NAACP get fooled????

    1. Frank, this may provide a response to part of your questioning.

      PO BOX 287
      BRIDGEPORT, CT 06601
      PRESS RELEASE (March 19, 2019)
      The Greater Bridgeport NAACP is pleased to participate with several other community organizations, the Bridgeport Public Library, and the Superintendent of Schools, Ms. Aresta Johnson to sponsor public meetings to provide accurate and comprehensive information for all taxpayers, citizens, registered voters and their families regarding our public schools.

      The NAACP supports access to basic civil rights, advocates for due process and encourages understanding of accurate, timely and comprehensive municipal governance issues. We were happy to see Board of Education Info Sessions initiated this year in neighborhood schools in advance of the release of Capital and Operating budget info from the Mayor’s Office. We do not understand why the meetings were terminated. Public opportunities for learning need greater frequency with genuine opportunities for the public to ask questions and get answers.

      Greater Bridgeport NAACP is not a political organization and does not respond to local political actors. We do believe that more than 25-30% of 70,000 registered voters should become informed about Bridgeport financial facts in the context of local, State and Federal funding of $407 Million expenditures in recent 2017 and 2018 budgets for Education, and vote to support 20,400 youth.

      Communications Director – Greater Bridgeport NAACP


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