The Bridgeport Board of Education, with Mayor Bill Finch, Faux “Deputy Mayor for Education” Joshua Thompson, Finch’s Chief of Staff Adam Wood and Pryor’s chief of Staff Adam Goldbarb in attendance, voted 5 to 4 to make Paul Vallas Bridgeport’s Superintendent of Schools, instead of Acting Superintendent, and give him a three-year contract.
Last legislative session, Governor Malloy’s Education Reform bill included a special provision to allow Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor to waive Vallas’ lack of proper credentials under limited circumstances. The contract approved last night by the Bridgeport Board of Education violates the provisions of even the revised special language written for Vallas, passed by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Malloy.
However, Vallas and Bridgeport’s Board of Education Chair say that Commissioner Pryor will approve the contract despite it being illegal.
Highlights of the CT Post story are as follows;
Vallas “awarded a three-year contract Monday night after a 5-4 vote at a special meeting of the city’s school board.”
“The decision came just days after the Connecticut Working Families Party mounted an all-out campaign to derail a contract extension for Vallas.”
Bridgeport Board of Education Chair Kelleher “said she expects no problems from the state Department of Education nor state Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor in accepting the board’s action, even though Vallas does not hold certification to be a superintendent in Connecticut. He is working under an exemption that expires Dec. 31.”
CT Post goes on to report:
“Vallas told the board he came to Bridgeport to help the city’s schools, not to have his reputation trashed.
“Since the intent is to find any opportunity to attack and discredit me, I would like the opportunity to respond when certain outrageous statements are made,” Vallas said.
“(U.S. Secretary of Education) Arne Duncan would not be qualified to be superintendent in this district. (Former New York City Schools Chancellor) Joel Klein would not be qualified,” Vallas said. “States have archaic laws. That is like saying Michael Jordan can’t coach basketball because he doesn’t have teacher certification.”
Vallas told the board he expects to receive state certification by that time after enrolling in a graduate program.
“I plan on being in full compliance in December,” he said.”
You can find the full CT Post story at: http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Bridgeport-superintendent-gets-3-year-deal-4328063.php#ixzz2Mf4hkJwB
The Board of Education also extended the contract of Vallas’ Chief Financial Officer, Marlene Siegel, despite the fact that she does not hold the required certification from the State Department of Education. Vallas told the Board that Siegel was more than qualified and did not need certification, certification that education financial officers need in every other Connecticut school district.
Check back later for more details about the bizarre developments with Vallas and Bridgeport’s Board of Education.