Bridgeport Schools Facing $2.5 Million Deficit

The Bridgeport Board of Education received bad news at last night’s Finance Committee meeting: The district might be facing more than a $2.5 million budget gap.

According to Marlene Siegel, “due to a number of factors it could grow,” and the district’s “target for budget savings” is actually closer to $3.5 million.

Back in 2010, the BOE faced a similar situation. Just like last time, the potential shortfall is being blamed on ballooning special education costs, cuts in state funding for special education, and rising transportation costs.

In 2010, the district was able to use the federal jobs grant to close the budget gap. This time around, the plan hinges on trying to get the city to bail them out.

The BOE’s Finance Committee reluctantly voted to push forward a budget reduction plan that includes asking the city to forgive $2.3 million in billable in-kind services.

(Yes, the same in-kind services that the city took on to bail them out in 2012 and the same services that became a controversial sticking point during last year’s budget talks)

The budget reduction plan includes some even more dramatic measures.

  • Here are some of the cuts being considered:
  • Hiring freeze of district staff;
  • Restricting discretionary expenditures;
  • Filling vacant teaching position with long-term substitutes after January 1st;
  • A reduction of the number of assistant principals at Bassick High School;
  • and Expediting the investigation of staff on Administrative Leave.

Good thing they didn’t go ahead with that plan to buy the board members iPads!



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