Last week, the Bridgeport Board of Education finally agreed to investigate the District Parent Advisory Council (PAC).
Well, sort of…
Despite mounting parent complaints of harassment and discrimination, the BOE only agreed to have their lawyers look into whether or not they could investigate the District PAC, which recently began kicking parents out for their “affiliations” with certain groups.
Somehow, even this was met with staunch resistance from Former Chairwoman Sauda Baraka, who insisted that parent complaints were the result of “political maneuvering.”
Rather than supporting the involvement of all parents, Baraka spent a good portion of Monday evening’s meeting insisting that the BOE “has no authority over the District PAC.”
This defense is nothing new. It was used by the BOE for the past two years as why they couldn’t get involved when ballots were thrown out during last District PAC election, and also when Juan Torrealba was removed from his post as president Cesar Batalla School without a vote. However, this is one of the first times that someone has actually quoted which part of Title I the BOE would theoretically be in violation of.
As you can hear in the video, Baraka claims Title I, Section 1118 says that PAC’s are separate entities.
In fact, it says the opposite.
According to Section 1118, which contains the only reference in Title I to district-wide PACs, school districts “may establish a districtwide parent advisory council to provide advice on all matters related to parent involvement in programs under this section.”
In other words, not only are District PACs optional, they are established by school districts, which are in turn the responsible party for making sure that parents are being engaged.
This is bolstered by the fact that the district’s Parent Engagement Policy also holds the BOE responsible for ensuring “the creation of a functioning District Parent Advisory Council (PAC).”
Baraka and her buddies are just making up “facts” to suit their own political interests.
But did Baraka think no one would bother looking up Title I?
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