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***Bridgeport, CT: 1/3 of school budget is SPECIAL EDUCATION; creates "funding gap"

Mar 18, 2019, Bridgeport Connecticut Post: Bridgeport school budget forums set BRIDGEPORT — Four forums are scheduled over the next two weeks to suggest what might happen if the city school district doesn’t get a $16 million funding boost for the 2019-20 fiscal years. The forums start Tuesday and replace Community Forums that had been planned in all 10 City Council Districts. A majority of the school, put a stop to those session, after only four were held,, deeming them “too political” and inconsistent in their message. Some city officials apparently complained they were being blamed for school budgets that have forced millions of dollars worth of program cuts. The first, entitled “Where’s Your Money Going?” is sponsored by the Greater Bridgeport NAACP Education Committee and will be held at 6 p.m., March 19, in the Burroughs Public Library, 925 Broad Street… Finally, Bridgeport Caribe Youth Leaders will present a forum at 10 a.m., Saturday, April 6 at the University of Bridgeport, 126 Park Avenue. The school board says it needs $16 million more than its current $248 million operating budget to run existing programs. District officials say they have made more than $38 million in personnel and programming cuts over the past three years to absorb contractual increases in salaries and the rising costs of transportation, health care and special education. One-third of the district budget is spent on special education. … District officials are creating a budget gap plan should they not get the full $16 million. The list include things rejected from past years including shortening the school year by two days — the unions would have to agree — lengthening walking distances for middle school students and consolidating the administration at the Fairchild Wheeler campus.


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