Bridgeport · Students

Baraka’s Logical Conflict: How Fighting Charters Hurts Her Cause

So, let me get this straight … Bridgeport Board of Education Chairwoman Sauda Baraka and her cronies think city schools aren’t fully funded, but they are against new state-funded charter schools?


The Working Families Party-controlled members of the Bridgeport Board of Education have been whining quite a bit lately about the Minimum Budget Requirement, going so far as to threaten the city with legal action over school funding.

Never mind that many Connecticut school districts are supposedly under-funded, including those in wealthy towns like West Hartford. But that’s not the point.

The point is, there are 1,774 students currently enrolled in Bridgeport public charter schools, and each and every one is a student Bridgeport does not pay to educate. With the opening of Great Oaks in August, add another 100 to that number.

Baraka, Maria Pereira and their ilk love to erroneously suggest that charters funnel money away from city schools. They are either sadly misinformed or deliberately lying.

The current public charter schools in Bridgeport — as well as the two new public charter schools scheduled to open over the next two years — are state charter schools, funded by (you guessed it) state dollars. They are not funded locally.

That’s enshrined in state statute. Even transportation, a cost local districts are legally obligated to incur for every single student, are reimbursed for kids who go to charters.

And here’s the kicker: Bridgeport gets to keep the money they get for kids who go to public charter schools. That’s right — Bridgeport schools get to keep the money for kids they don’t educate.

So, um, wouldn’t an increase in the number of students attending public charter schools make it easier for Bridgeport to fund its schools? With 1,974 out of 20,710 Bridgeport kids in public charter schools, isn’t that 9 percent fewer students the Bridgeport BOE needs to spend money on?

Oh, wait, I’m sorry — I forgot. Baraka and the rest of the Bridgeport BOE Dream Team don’t really care about educating children. The debate about the MBR is just another way for them to politicize our children’s education.



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