One of the votes in favor of extending Paul Vallas’ contract as Superintendent of Bridgeport Schools tonight will certainly be Democrat Reverend Kenneth Moales, Jr.
Unlike the spectacular “It Gets Better Project” which communicates to youth around the world that it gets better, and seeks to create and inspire the changes needed to make it better for them, Kenneth Moales Jr. is a sad reminder that when it comes to politics, sometimes it actually gets worse.
In August 2011, Kenneth Moales was appointed by the Malloy Administration to Bridgeport’s illegal Board of Education. At the time, he was serving as Mayor Bill Finch’s campaign treasurer. As a member of the Democratic slate, Moales later won a seat on the democratically elected board.
Less than a year later, when Governor Malloy increased funding for early education slots in the state, Kenneth Moales and his family jumped at the opportunity to expand their daycare facilities. According to the CT Post, “Nearly half of the new preschool slots awarded by the state to the city are going to a program that is part of the ministry of Rev. Kenneth Moales Jr., a state-appointed city school board member.”
The article continued with the information that “Kingdom’s Little Ones Christian Academy, an East End daycare and after-school program run by Moales’ mother, Peggy Moales, and his sister, Kenya Moales-Byrd, is getting 60 of the 130 new slots awarded to the district and some $500,000 that goes with it.”
As Wait, What? readers may remember, an earlier post had focused on the fact that “Kingdom’s Little Ones in Christ, Inc., a company affiliated with Prayer Tabernacle Church of Love, Inc., [Moales’ church] had received approximately $600,000 in public funds for daycare and after-school services from the City of Bridgeport over the past year and more than $2.2 million since 2006.
As if the extra half a million a year wasn’t enough, just two months ago, Kenneth Moles Jr. took an additional step and submitted an application to open a new charter school.
According to Moales, his Bridgeport Prestige Academy College Preparatory Charter School for boys would “prepare young men in grades 3-8 for admission to and success in demanding college preparatory high schools.”
Despite no background in education, except for the fact that he owns daycare centers with his mother and sister, Moales has now positioned himself to collect another $1 million a year in state funds if Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor and the State Board of Education select his proposal in the coming months.
As Vice Chair of the Bridgeport Board of Education and chair of the Board’s Finance subcommittee, Moales has been one of Paul Vallas’ strongest supporters.
As we know, Vallas is fond of making it clear to anyone who will listen that he was brought to Connecticut by Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor. As Bridgeport’s Superintendent of Schools, Vallas will also play a crucial role in the selection of which Bridgeport charter schools get funding.
Will it be Pryor’s own Achievement First that gets more public funds?
Will it be Kenneth Moales, Jr. new charter school?
Tonight’s effort to extend Vallas’ contract is just one more piece of a much bigger puzzle.
It is a puzzle that spells the demise of Connecticut’s system of public education, with some “education reformers” getting rich in the process.