You’re going to be a great mayor, as long as you take care of the people of Boston and keep the people first.
So what to make of this new mayor? Has he put the people of Boston first? Has he kept us in his heart as he makes decisions?
Mayor Walsh rolled out a major facilities plan in late September with much fanfare. It was sold as a chance to update BPS’s crumbling facilities and upgrade the schools for 21st century learning. Though, Mayor Walsh did admit that some schools would have to be consolidated.
The facilities plan calls for a major audit of all BPS facilities. It was announced with much fanfare.
In the same speech where he announced the billion dollar, ten year facilities plan, he also admitted that there was a more controversial part of the plan: school closings and consolidations.
It’s going to be controversial in some ways, but it’s going to be the right thing to do to make sure that our young people get the best education, in the best buildings, with the best principals and the best teachers in this city,” he said.
In off the record meetings with parents, BPS officials have intimated that the mayor wants to get the Boston Public Schools down to 90 buildings.
BPS currently has 126 schools. Mayor Walsh plans to close 36 BPS schools, ¼ of the district.
A recent FOIA request demonstrated that the Boston Compact, the group of administrators from district, charter and Catholic schools, is determining which BPS buildings should be handed over to charters. There is not one facilities plan happening. It is a tri sector facilities plan (district/charters/catholic) that will help charters grow by leasing out the buildings of the schools that they will close.
Furthermore, this proposal is not being driven by the wishes of Mayor Walsh’s constituents. These plans are not being hammered out in open meetings where the citizens of Boston can hold policy makers accountable. These decisions are being made in closed meetings with the Gates Foundation and the Walton Foundation where Mayor Walsh is hoping to receive funding for his education agenda.
I think everyone can agree that our education policy should be driven by the people of Boston and not outside foundations.
On October the 14th, the unelected Boston School Committee voted unanimously to renew the Boston Compact.
Here are the last Boston Compact meetings:
Here are the last meetings:
Thursday, November 12
6:30 – 9:00 pm
1st Church of Jamaica Plain
Tuesday, November 17
5:30 – 8:00 pm
West End Boys and Girls Club