Bridgeport BOE: Is This the End of Baraka’s Reign?

It appears there is a major power shift coming to the Bridgeport Board of Education when the board votes on its next chair at tonight’s organizational meeting.

Last year, the board was taken over by a coalition led and funded by the Working Families Party after union-aligned candidates beat out the endorsed Democratic slate in the primary. The coalition of Dave Hennessey, Howard Gardner, Andre Baker and the recently resigned John Bagley chose Sauda Baraka to head the board.

This new leadership was supposed to usher in change, but as the public has found out, all we’ve seen is more of the same political maneuvering and rancor that’s marked the Bridgeport BOE for decades.

Some of the same board members who elected Baraka last year appear to be unhappy with her leadership – or at least that’s the rumor.

Ever since the surprise appointment of Bridgeport parent Kadisha Coates to replace John Bagley, there’s been talk that Dave Hennessey has been eyeing the chairman’s seat.

You see, according to the ranting and ravings of former BOE member Maria Pereira, Hennessey and Andre Baker–Democrats allied with WFP coalition–were not supposed to vote for Coates. It may be that Hennessey has brokered some deal to take the chairmanship.

As dubious as this may sound, it comes as no surprise that Hennesey may be going for the chairmanship since he was rumored to have been eyeing the position last year.

Regardless of whether Hennessey wins or even goes through with his challenge of Baraka, a power shift within the BOE has already began. With Coates replacing Bagley, the WFP coalition no longer holds a 5-4 advantage.

The board’s organizational meeting is set for 5:30 P.M. at The Aquaculture School, 60 St. Stephen’s Road. Following the organizational meeting, the board will also be holding a regular meeting in the same location at 6:30 P.M.



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