It seems obvious that fact checking is not part of Jon Pelto’s repertoire. That’s the only possible explanation as to why he would announce such clearly false information during his interview with NBC Connecticut’s Gerry Brooks.
During the interview, while stringing together anti-reform talking points, he announced that Bridgeport Public Schools “was forced to get rid of all their instructional assistants.”
While that does sounds dire and probably makes for a great sound bite, it’s also completely false.
A cursory glance at the Bridgeport Board of Education’s most recent budget report reveals at least 57 instructional assistants paid through the district’s Title I grant.
Keep in mind this doesn’t include the 10 classroom paraprofessionals paid by the district, the 34 pre-k paraprofessionals, the eight bilingual aides and the 167 special education aides that also work in Bridgeport public schools.
Don’t get me wrong. Back when John Ramos was superintendent, there were cuts to the number of paraprofessionals employed by the district. I’m certainly not saying that there isn’t a need for more paraprofessionals in Bridgeport classrooms.
That doesn’t mean Pelto gets to make up his own facts.
That said, the irony of Pelto’s false statement is that Paul Vallas, someone Pelto seems to think is responsible for all the ills of Bridgeport Public Schools, actually increased the number of paraprofessionals employed by the district when he left from 163 to 192.
The question now is, how many other things does Pelto creatively embellish? What other “facts” does he completely make up to push his agenda?
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