BRIDGEPORT - Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch announced on Thursday that the state will run local school-based clinics until a new operator is found.

The mayor said the school-based health centers will be funded by the federal government through the end of the year. That will serve as a transition period for the state to find an outside provider to run the centers starting next year.

?The taxpayer is going to be happy the children are taken care of,? Finch said. "And we're going to be able to save a million and half dollars out of this budget.?

The mayor said this plan will guarantee the same level of services with no disruptions.

Kate Gredinger, director of school health clinics, remains hopeful the transition goes as planned. "The bottom line is making sure these services are ? provided to children and that they have a staff who is as dedicated as our current staff to provide these services,? Gredinger said.

The city has run the clinics for the past 25 years, but the mayor said it no longer has the funds to do so.