Attorney: Bridgeport BOE Has ‘No Basis for Lawsuit’

Bridgeport has no legal basis to sue the state over newly approved state charter schools, according to an email from attorney Thomas Mooney to the city’s interim school district superintendent, Fran Rabinowitz.

Mooney was hired by the Bridgeport Board of Education to examine the possibility of legal action against the state of Connecticut, following the State Board of Education’s approval of four new public charter schools, two of which are planned to open in Bridgeport.

“We have completed our review, and we did not find any basis on which to challenge the state’s actions on these two schools,” Mooney wrote to Rabinowitz.

In layman’s terms, the board has no legal leg on which to stand.

The two schools approved for Bridgeport are state charter schools, paid for out of state coffers with no financial contribution from the local school district — which is why the State Board of Education is responsible for approval, and not the local board.

Though the school district does pay for transportation and special education costs — a legal mandate for every student who resides within the district, whether that student attends a public, private, magnet or charter school — the district can be reimbursed for those costs through the state.

But all those pesky facts didn’t prevent Board Chairwoman Sauda Baraka and her cronies from forcing through a moratorium on new charter schools, a resolution they could in no way enforce.

When the state board did what is right for kids and approved the new charters, Baraka and her cronies decided to sue the state, a prospect Mooney has now said makes no sense.

According to Mooney’s letter to Rabinowitz, which was received by Education Bridgeport! through a Freedom of Information Act request, the only option for the board is to take “a more aggressive approach” if any new charters are proposed down the line.

The big question now is: Will it matter to the board? Will the board forge forward anyway, wasting hundreds of thousand if not millions of dollars on what we know already will be a pointless and ultimately failed lawsuit?



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