Teachers Union Complaint Against Vallas Dismissed

The Hartford Courant

The state's education commissioner dismissed a teacher's union complaint Thursday against the Bridgeport public school district.
    Commissioner Stefan Pryor said in a letter that he is dismissing the complaint because the complainant -- Gary Peluchette, president of the Bridgeport Teachers Association -- did not first attempt to resolve the matter with the local school board. That step must be taken, Pryor said, before the state has jurisdiction over the complaint.
    Last week, Peluchette and the Connecticut Education Association, filed a complaint accusing the district of illegally excluding teachers, parents and community leaders from the educational process.
    In a statement last week, Peluchette targeted Bridgeport Superintendent Paul Vallas saying that he has ignored the school governance councils that were created to involve community, parents and teachers.
    Vallas, reached in his office last week, called the complaint "nonsense" and said his staff has reached out to the community and involved them in the educational process.
    In his letter to Peluchette, Pryor said he does "take seriously the allegations you have raised," as he said, "it is important to ensure that the laws regarding school governance councils are being implemented appropriately."
    "Because your complaint does not show that you have attempted to resolve the complaint with the board, I am dismissing it," Pryor said. He added that he would like to invite Peluchette and Vallas to meet with him to discuss resolving the matter.
    Pryor worked with Vallas to help rebuild the school system in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake and it was Pryor who recommended that Vallas work with Bridgeport on its school system.

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