BRIDGEPORT, CT (CBSNewYork) – Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch has been getting plenty of criticism for his plan to raise taxes in the city budget, but he says there is an area of critical need.

WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau On The Story

After holding the line on taxes for three years mayor, Finch says there is no choice now but to raise taxes.

About a third of the $24 million boost would go to reforming public schools in Connecticut’s biggest city, schools which the mayor says for too long have been held hostage to a system that lacks accountability.

“My kids go to public schools, and I’m not satisfied with the level of education that our public schools are offering in the city of Bridgeport. It’s one of the worst schools systems in Connecticut or New England,” Finch told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau on Tuesday.

The evidence is in the end product, says the mayor.

For example, only 10 percent of Bridgeport’s 10th graders are reading at grade level.

“At Housatonic Community College, right across the street here from City Hall, Fran, 80 percent of the students there begin a community college education in remedial classes,” he told Schneidau.

Finch is convinced that change will come with Gov. Dan Malloy’s education reform agenda. He says the governor has stepped forward to represent the special interests of disadvantaged students.

What do you have to say about taxes and schools in Bridgeport? Sound off in the comments section below!

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