Board of Ed: Beardsley Zoo received nearly 2X amount of funds as schools

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BRIDGEPORT -

Bridgeport teachers and Board of Education members were not happy to learn that the Beardsley Zoo tigers, and not students, were getting $2.5 million.

Mayor Joe Ganim announced Monday that the city would pledge money to help the Bridgeport zoo build a new habitat for its three tigers. Education leaders say that this money was much more needed for the school system in the city.

Joseph Sokolovic, a Board of Education member, says that the education system received about $1.5 million in additional funds from the City Council while the tigers got nearly twice the amount from Mayor Ganim.

Board of Education members say the school system will have to cut $5.5 million to balance the 2019-2020 budget. They say it would take a budget of $16 million to not have to make any cuts.

Rob Traber, a Bridgeport teacher, says all the cuts the school has been forced to make the past few years has diminished the system into "bare bones." He says the school system can't provide children with the education they deserve.

Mayor Ganim defended his choice to give the zoo the money. He says, "This is a political time of year where people from the Board of Education want to create issues." He says he hopes to work with the current BOE to resolve some current busing problems and to fight for more funding from Hartford.

RELATED:  Donation from the city moves along plan for Beardsley Zoo tiger habitat 

 

 

 

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