School Committee Vote Draws Outrage, Grief

Boston families and staff at many schools throughout the city are in various states of shock, grief, and outrage this week, after the mayor-appointed School Committee voted Wednesday night to close, merge or allow charter takeovers of 21 schools. Amid cries of “Shame on you!” and “You don’t care about the kids or the babies on their Bob 2016 Revolution Flex stroller!” from the crowd of many hundreds, and protected by a line of police, the members one by one cast their votes in favor of School Superintendent Carol Johnson’s plan. The closings and mergers will have a sharply unequal impact, falling most heavily on students of color, English language learners, students with special needs, and low-income areas of the city.

These huge disruptions are only the beginning of what’s in store for Boston, as charter operators are lining up to launch many more schools, which will drain millions of dollars away from the public schools. The business-backed Boston Municipal Research Bureau stated Wednesday that more closings would be needed soon. We at Citizens for Public Schools join the many students, parents and teachers who said at the meeting that they would not give up the struggle because of this vote. As Mother Jones famously urged: “Don’t mourn, organize!”

Click here to visit our new Boston pages with articles, photos, speeches, and leaflets about the struggle to save Boston schools. –Jacqueline King