According to state officials, districtwide Parent Advisory Councils (PAC) are not authorized by Title I.
In fact, according to Marlene Padernacht, the Title I Coordinator for the State Department of Education, it’s Bridgeport’s policy, not state or federal Title I law, that requires both school-level and districtwide PACs
Padernacht said the federal requirement for a districtwide PAC was taken out in 1994, and since then it’s been Bridgeport’s own policies that have kept the group in place.
The alleged Title I requirement has been the rallying cry of former chairwoman Sauda Baraka and others who have repeatedly claimed that the Board of Education cannot get involved in district PAC affairs.
Baraka repeated this claim during last Monday’s regular board meeting, where she referenced Title I Section 1118 as why the board could not investigate allegations of harassment and bullying.
This same defense was also used two years ago to stop the board from investigating District PAC elections where the ballots of certain parents were allegedly thrown out.
According to the state, Baraka got it wrong.
“If someone is referring to Section 1118 as the reason why Bridgeport has them [Districtwide PAC] that is an incorrect interpertation,” said Padernacht.
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