One Ed fund empties, another set to begin

BRIDGEPORT — The state-appointed city school board emptied its Fairfield County Community Foundation piggy bank Monday, asking for a withdrawl of the final $126,000 in a “Bridgeport Education Reform Fund” to pay for Interim School Superintendent Paul Vallas’ salary through December.

 The  Bridgeport Education Reform Fund was established last January to help pay for Vallas and members of his staff while the district continued to pay severance to John Ramos, its last schools chief. In January 2013, Ramos will stop collecting a check from the city and taxpayers will begin to pay for Vallas’ salary.

  The fund, fueled by anonymous donors, must of had in excess of $441,000 at one point. As of May, $315,250 has been dispersed from the fund to pay for Vallas’ salary through June, the salaries of several members of his staff and membership in the Council of Great City Schools.  Board Chairman Robert Trefry, said the $126,000 withdrawal will empty the account. Sallie Mitchell, communication director for the foundation, said the fund will then close.

  Next week, however, officials expect to announce the establishment of a Good Schools Bridgeport Fund which will also be set up in the Fairfield County Community Foundation. Good Schools will have a broader, longer-term focus than just paying for transition and district reform efforts, said Trefry.

Linda Lambeck