Guys, I know that it is early in the game, but I’m calling it. Marty Walsh is not a friend to public education. In fact, he may be an enemy.
Boston Public Schools are in crisis. There is a 60 million dollar shortfall. Services are being cut, teachers and staff are being fired. My son’s small school is losing Special Education teachers and a social worker. The staff was already providing supplies out of pocket.
So the mayor decides to hold a chat about education on Facebook. I honestly thought he would use the chat to calm BPS parents’ fears.
But here is what happened.
This is a fundamentally dishonest response. Yes, they have increased the city contribution by $36 million. But state and local funding has been reduced and costs have gone up. So BPS started with a $90,000 shortfall. He didn’t acknowledge the reality of her comment. Schools are making painful cuts.
But here is a question he did answer!
More charters? Yes! That’s just what we need! The fact that they are unfunded mandates from the legislature isn’t a problem. The fact that more charters would mean more financial hardship for Boston schools isn’t a problem. Sorry that you are losing funding for teachers and art. Let’s privatize more schools!
I found the whole thing very interesting. Especially in light of the fact that I know at least a dozen parents who haven written to Marty Walsh expressing their concerns about the school budget.
I don’t know a single parent who has received an answer from his office.
All of this has leads me to believe that he is not concerned about Boston Public Schools. Because if he was, he wouldn’t be advocating for more charters in the face of a 60 million dollar shortfall. What kind of a mayor does that? Who advocates for the schools’ resources to be further depleted.
I will tell you what kind of a mayor. A mayor who is ok with the school system being privatized. A mayor who is not losing any sleep that urban schools are discharging their social workers.
Now I don’t believe that I can convince the mayor that turning over public funds and real estate to private entities is immoral (even though it is). But I will tell him one thing. Education is nonnegotiable. Send one of your minions out to the playground at pick-up time. You will not hear calls for your head. But you will hear one thing: Contingency Plans. Abandon the schools, and families will abandon Boston.