Bridgeport Superintendent Paul Vallas has signed a resolution with the local teachers’ union for the “successful implementation” of the school panels mandated by state law aimed at increasing teacher and parental involvement in the lowest-performing schools.

The resolution follows Vallas and Gary Peluchette, the president of the Bridgeport Education Association, meeting in Hartford with the state’s education commissioner.

The state’s largest teachers’ union filed a complaint with the State Department of Education in May alleging that Vallas showed a “flagrant disregard” of the School Governance Council requirement. Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor dismissed the complaint but invited the superintendent and Peluchette to meet with him to resolve the issue.

“There was recognition by all involved that communication could be better… It’s clear that there wasn’t sufficient communication at the local level previously,” Pryor said during an interview Thursday. This agreement “commits both parties to work together. This represents real progress.”

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Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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