In his latest nonsensical rant, “Education Blogger” Jon Pelto argues against the deal struck between the state Board of Education and City of Bridgeport—an agreement that would release state funds to city schools and alleviate the $3.3 million shortfall in state mandated municipal education funding.
According to Pelto, Finch and Malloy’s deal was “secret.” It was so secret, in fact, that Finch issued a press release and held a press conference announcing the plan.
Does Pelto think it’s bad that the State Board of Education and City reached a deal to allow Bridgeport to meet the Minimum Budget Requirements?
Does he realize the consequences of not meeting the requirements? If the city and state fail to come to an agreement by the end of the fiscal year, Bridgeport Education Cost Sharing grant would be reduced by at least $3.3 million the next year, if not more. Considering Bridgeport is already one of the most underfunded districts in the state, I’m happy Finch, Malloy, Pryor, and Barnes came up with a reasonable solution. A solution that doesn’t further burden the already overburden taxpayers of Bridgeport and yet provides much needed funds to the district. [OLR Research Report, ECS Minimum Budget Requirement for FY12 and FY13, 7/1/2011]
According to Pelto’s logic, Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor does not have the authority to strike a deal without the permission of the state Board of Education or the General Assembly. It is true that statutory budget authority rests with the General Assembly; however, the Department of Education isn’t waiving the MBR. The deal only changes how those funds are met, which is entirely different.
Bridgeport is one of the poorest cities in the state, yet it also has one of the highest property tax rates in the country. Is he suggesting, instead of striking a deal, that Finch should raise property taxes on the already overburdened Bridgeport taxpayers in order to make up for the shortfall?
Or maybe outrage is just good click bait.
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