For the second meeting in a row, Bridgeport Superintendent of Schools Paul Vallas stormed out of a Bridgeport Board of Education meeting.
Last night, according to the Connecticut Post, “The audience was dwindling. So Vallas and much of his staff got up and left. Vallas said as he left, he wasn’t going to make reports if there was no one there to listen.”
Paul Vallas makes $234,000 plus benefits, meaning taxpayers are paying well in excess of a quarter of a million dollars a year for his services – despite the fact that he has a lucrative private consulting business on the side.
Vallas was hired by the former, illegal, Bridgeport Board of Education after Stefan Pryor, Governor Malloy’s Commissioner of Education, asked him to take the Bridgeport job. Now he serves the democratically elected members of the Bridgeport Board of Education.
Whether it is arrogance or an anger management problem is unclear, but what is clear is that Vallas apparently lacks the emotional disposition to work in an environment in which the People’s will is represented through a democratically elected board. (All of his previous positions have been in situations where he worked for a mayor or an appointed board.)
To walk about during a board of education because it is going on too long is beyond unbelievable.
Vallas serves the Board and the Board serves the People – not the other way around.
His duty to provide detailed updates and reports is not for the benefit of the public who may be attending the meeting, although they are certainly welcome to come and hear those reports. Under Connecticut law the superintendent of schools provides reports because they give the board of education the information it needs fulfill their legal duty to set education policy in that community.
Vallas’ pattern of apparent disregard for the laws and rules that apply continue to grow. Upon arrival in Connecticut last year, he signed more than a dozen no-bid contracts, in violation of state and local laws.
And since Bridgeport has failed to properly adopt a school budget this year, it appears that Vallas is spending public funds in violation of state law.
The CT Post story – see link below – seems to imply that it was the Board of Education’s fault since they “voted to rearrange the agenda” to take up other issues. But of course, that is the right of any board, as long as the change is made in a procedurally appropriate manner.
A longer than expected meeting certainly doesn’t provide Vallas with the right to storm out of the meeting or give him the right to take the other public employees that work for the school system with him.
Perhaps the most ironic part of all is that the last item on the agenda – an agenda created by Vallas and the chair of the Bridgeport Board of Education was supposed to be: 12. New Business: Need meeting to evaluate and consider contract extension of Superintendent
Once again Vallas reveals why he shouldn’t be Bridgeport’s superintendent of schools and certainly should be granted yet another contract extension.