Anyone? Will any Bridgeport official stand up for the children with special needs in your city?

Mayor Bill Finch, the Bridgeport City Council and Bridgeport’s illegal Board of Education all voted for the education budget developed by Paul Vallas, Bridgeport’s interim superintendent of schools.

As previously noted here at Wait, What?, the biggest cut in the entire Bridgeport school budget was for the funds needed to support Bridgeport students who require special education services.

After the issue was raised and school administrators faced growing concerns about these significant budget cuts, Team Vallas issued a memo explaining that they had everything under control.

In the August 22 memo, Team Vallas explained;

  • There was a $1 million dollar budget cut that came from eliminating 14 special education teachers who were no longer needed.  By way of an explanation, they memo explained that Vallas had developed an “updated formula for allocation of special education teachers and paraprofessionals that is consistent with IEP mandates and takes into consideration student needs. The formula revision is built on a focused realignment of resources, designed to fiscally support the proper staffing levels to meet the individualized instructional needs of our students.”

In English this means that each remaining special education teacher would have more students and more students with special education needs would be placed into regular classes.

  • Second, there was a $2.6 million dollar cut by taking some of the most high-need students out of their existing placements and returning them into the Bridgeport school system.  The Vallas memo said that, “the district has established new, specialized programs in various schools to accommodate the return of special education students from out of district settings, with parental consent and full compliance with all mandated special education procedures.”

So, according to Vallas, as a result of the new, specialized programs that have been created, about one or every five students placed in special, out of district programs, would now be returned to Bridgeport schools.

But today, on the first day of school, we learn that the Bridgeport School System has suddenly started advertising for a number of special education assistants and therapeutic support facilitators.

They STARTED advertising for the positions now?

But Vallas and his staff said that everything was already in place!

Let’s face it.

If Team Vallas had been telling the truth about where things stood, these positions would have been filed long ago, the new employees would have already been trained and they would now be working to assist students will disabilities.

The children who need special education services and their parents deserve better.

In fact, all the parents and children of Bridgeport deserve better.

For one thing, they deserve to be told the truth.

But the question is; will Bridgeport’s officials step forward and ensure that their citizens start getting the truth or will they continue to allow the lies and double-speak to continue?