Governor Baker and House Speaker Deleo’s pledge to not raise taxes seems particularly cruel in the middle of BPS budget season. The bad news is being heard all around town as schools struggle with what to cut to balance their budget.
Boston Community Leadership Academy (BCLA) is a successful, high achieving school in Hyde Park that has been the recipient of the Thomas W. Payzant “School on the Move” Prize and also recognized as a “Bronze Winner” in U.S. News and World Report America’s Best High Schools.
BCLA is also facing devastating budget cuts this year. They have been presented with an $800,000 budget deficit that they are expected to balance. It’s absolutely disastrous, and the staff believes that this budget cut will render their successful school completely nonfunctional.
But this school is not taking this lying down. They are standing up and fighting for their school. BCLA has rejected this budget and they are organizing the students and staff. They won’t let the district take away everything that they have worked so hard for.
As one teacher said, “This is unacceptable behavior on the part of the city.”
It is unacceptable. But it’s also unacceptable that the legislature refuses to fund charter reimbursements to the city.
It’s unacceptable that the governor is so concerned with the creation of new charter schools that he neglects real children in existing schools that are being gutted. Charlie Baker may be staying up late at night worrying about the children on charter school wait lists but he can barely raise an eyebrow of concern for the children who are in public schools.
It’s unacceptable that universities utilize Boston’s roads, public transportation and emergency services but they cannot make their PILOT payments.
Boston is not a “concept” or “an idea.” It’s a real city with real people and it needs to function. We have the right under the Massachusetts constitution to send our kids to funded, successful schools.
The children of BCLA deserve the respect and support of our elected officials.
Budgets are value statements. It’s time the city and state value our children.
To see what is happening at BCLA, follow Grace Evans on Twitter: @grace_h_evans