School Budget Public Hearing On Tap This Week

The City Council’s Budget & Appropriations Committee will conduct two key sessions this week concerning school district funding.

On Tuesday, 6 p.m., the seven-member panel will meet with Board of Education leaders regarding Mayor Joe Ganim’s proposed school budget that increases local funding by $2 million but has critics asserting that’s not nearly enough to sustain current staffing levels.

See Zoom and teleconference information below to listen.

On Thursday 6 p.m. in City Council chambers the committee will conduct a public hearing on the school budget and library spending.

Ganim’s election-year budget holds the line on taxes.



  1. Budget documents are thick with facts and data certainly. They provide some information, as required, to show where money is planned to be spent, is currently planned currently, or has been spent in the past but not necessarily what was acheived. Nor are there for the most part traceable metrics that you can follow over time to review the accuracy and quality of results.
    Let me pull one example out of the air, with which I have become more familiar this year.:OPED- Planning and Economic Development looks at real estate and building development in the City with an eye to meet the needs of the public for goods, services, and shelter and to keep the City growing in financial terms as well as quality and vibrancy of the economy.
    ** A professional document has been sought by the State of CT on the subject of “affordable housing”. Initial deadlines were missed by the City and extensions were sought but a meeting at 45 Lyon Terrace recently showed the City had not included much data necessary from the City with the largest population. Why a delay?
    ** City departments deal with renters in the City in many ways but there is no central office or department as there once was to keep track of the variety of issues and the number that go unresolved. Members of another City committee were unable to provide the total number of renters as they went about figuring how to REVIVE the FAIR RENT Commission, allowed to die because of no Mayoral appointments in the past two decades. What constitutes fair rent in 2023?
    ** There formerly was a FAIR HOUSING Commission also, with no appointments of citizens for too many years. Died also.
    There is a wonderful advertisement at the top of my OIB page as I write this response. It pictures Mayor Joe with a happy youth messaging that Joe is “Leading Bridgeport’s Revival”. Nice image for certain. But if you are responsible for Charter duties not happening, and the subsequent death of valued boards and commissions, why are you seeking credit for REVIVAL of anything? Magic or miracle? Time will tell.

  2. Lennie as I consider OIB the “paper” of record for Bridgeport politics, I place this comment here to look back in when the Mayor and City Council try and pass the buck by saying “I didn’t know” or “they didn’t tell us” and the usual pathetic excuses they use.

    Fact: Joe Ganim won his Mayoral seat back after returning from serving time on corruption charges in November 2015.

    Fact: over 243 positions have beeneliminated since 2016/2017.

    Fact: Mayor Ganim has underfunded education each and every year he’s been in office.

    Fact: the only reason there was no cuts since 2019/2020 was due to the pandemic and Esser/ARP funds.

    Fact: ESSER/ARP funds expire at the end of next school year.

    Fact: 114 current positions are funded with expiring ESSER funds.

    Fact: there will be no $$ to pay for these “extra” services and they will have to be cut unless funding is found.

    Fact: the above facts do not address the operating budget shortfall cuts that may need to be made once reserve funds are exhausted (likely at the same time Esser/ARP funds run out.

    Informed opinion These will be additional cuts anywhere between (guesstimate) a minimum of 4 million upwards to 12 million dollars.

    Bridgeport public Schools has not received combined increase large enough to cover staff raises and increased health costs since Ganim has take office.

    Fact: projected staff costs are increasing by 5.3 million dollars and health benefits projected at 3.3 million dollars. The current combined increase proposed is 5.2 million dollars. With these two items alone measures against the increases that’s a 3.4 million dollar structural deficit.

    So I implore the public to come out and testify. We need minimum of 12.4 million dollars from the city.

    Please come out because when the budget cuts come after the next school year and y’all pack the BOE meetings to save your schools or favorite staff person, it will be too late.

    If they don’t listen, throw em out in August.

    Budget link.


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