Last night at the Parent Council at my son’s elementary school in Jamaica Plain, it was announced the Boston Public Schools are requesting that schools prepare for drastic budget cuts. It’s been reported that these cuts will be for as much as 20% of the current budget. The immediate effects of such cuts to my son’s school and to other schools in the city will be loss of staff, Playworks, learning interventions, the learning center, and even shortening the school day. Public schools are already making do with limited budgets while being assailed from all sides in political battles, so further cuts will have drastic consequences to providing quality innovative education to all children in the city. So far there has been coverage on Universal Hub (http://www.universalhub.com/2014/bps-schools-told-prepare-cuts) and social media, but the news has not been disseminated through traditional media.
If you live in Boston and value public education, please join me in the following steps:
- Attend a Boston School Committee meeting. The schedule is here: http://www.bostonpublicschools.org/Page/253
- Write a letter expressing your concern to BPS Superintendent McDonough (email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org) ,Mayor Marty Walsh (email@example.com), and the School Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org). Feel free to copy other city leaders and local media.
- Share your thoughts on Twitter to https://twitter.com/bostonschools and https://twitter.com/marty_walsh. Use the hashtag #bospoli to draw attention to your tweet! And retweet others in our community).
- Share your thoughts on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/VoteMartyWalsh?fref=ts and https://www.facebook.com/bostonschools?fref=ts
- Do whatever else you can to share this news with others, make your feelings known, and in general make a big noise to let the BPS know that we will not accept cuts to our schools.
Below is the content of the email sent to the Mayor and Superintendent. Please feel free to crib what you like for your own message. It does not have to long, or eloquent. Just write to make sure that your thoughts are heard.
I am discouraged to learn that Boston Public Schools are being instructed to make severe cuts to their budgets for the upcoming school year. It’s been reported that cuts of up to 20% are being requested. My son Peter, six years old, is a Kindergarten 2 scholar at the Boston Teachers Union School in Jamaica Plain. At his school, such drastic cuts will lead to the loss of staff, Playworks, learning interventions, the learning center, and even the length of our school day being shortened. This is an innovative school striving to provide equitable education to the children of our city, but it cannot do so without the proper finances and resources. Like many, if not all, public schools in Boston, the BTU School is already struggling to make do on limited resources. I believe further cuts to our schools’ budgets will have drastic consequences
Public education is something I value highly. I believe quality education for all children regardless of their economic, social, or racial background is one of the most important things our community and government provides. I also believe in holding accountable leaders of the schools and the city to follow through on this promise to our children. The city of Boston cannot prosper without a thriving working class and middle class who feel that their children can get a quality public education.
The Boston Public Schools have proclamations that our schools are high-performing, but this will be possible to maintain without the proper funding and resources. Mayor Walsh declared “I will not cut back on the education budget,” (Boston Herald, 12/5/2013), and I expect him to hold to that promise. I ask of all the leaders of our schools and city to work toward restoring the budge to previous levels, and, hey perhaps even a little bit more to help increase quality, innovative education in Boston. Our schools should be the first priority for our city, our children, and our future.