Walsh moves to restore high-school cuts - partly at expense of expanded advanced work in lower grades
The Globe reports Mayor Walsh has told School Superintendent Tommy Chang to put more money into high schools following this week's student protests over potential cuts to foreign-language and other programs.
Walsh is hoping the state comes through with $5 million in extra reimbursement for the loss of students to charter schools the Globe reports. But part of the money will come from not expanding Advanced Work Classes in grades 4-6. The classes, which offer more rigorous instruction, are seen as a conduit to the city's exam schools and Chang had made their expansion part of his plans for improving tests scores in general and for dealing with racial disparities at Boston Latin School.
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i hope anybody that mocked or belittled the students for this feels silly now
The mayor's expected to release more details today, but based on the Globe story, it doesn't look like he's putting more money into the school budget, but is instead a) hoping the state actually comes through with a bit more money and b) robbing elementary-school Peter to pay high-school Paul, by not ramping up AWC.
Expanding AWC is a stupid idea!
Every BPS student is not capable of doing the level of work required in AWC. This attempt to give everyone advanced work will lead to the destruction of AWC as it is now and the white flight from BPS will begin again in earnest. Those inflated property values in JP and Roslindale will tank and BPS will implode. Chang and his stupid ideas are the worst thing to happen to BPS since busing. Go back to Cali Tommy and take your stupid ideas with you!
Giving more kids the chance to work at a higher level is going to leave whole neighborhoods barren and rubble strewn? Sounds like it's time for somebody to move to Newton or Ashburnham or someplace that isn't Boston.
For what it's worth
The Curley is already
abolishingexpanding AWC to everybody, starting next year.
Look out below, inflated property values!
Is this a call in from WEEI?
Universal expansion of AWC has actually already been done in other schools with success (Josiah Quincy where very student can take IBS level classes). Setting that aside, I love the assumption that "destruction" of AWC will re-start "white flight." Why, because only white kids are smart enough to take AWC classes. What a douche bag you are. Have fun at the Trump rally.
My son qualified for AWC, but
My son qualified for AWC, but since he attended a school that didn't offer it, he would have had to have transferred. The first year (going in to 4th grade), there were 9 spots available spread throughout the West Zone, with all other spots taken by students already attending those schools. There were around 15 kids in his class that also qualified for AWC, so clearly there weren't enough seats to go around. Only one parent elected to transfer their child to a school for AWC, and everybody else stayed behind and had excellent teachers. I don't buy the AWC hype.
Curious about the AWC claim
My understanding is that the funding for AWC expansion was channeled through a federal grant, one that can't really be applied to other purposes. I don't have the specifics, but I'm pretty hooked in with the BPS activist community. People who follow it more closely have told me that Chang's announcement in the wake of the BLS faux scandal was duplicitous since not expanding the program would mean turning down funding. I don't see how turning down AWC funding can free up funding for high school language classes.
yeah, i read the article too. i consider what he is doing to be a net positive even if theres no net change in funding. i'm all for funding education but in this case it makes sense to me to allow one set of students to maintain the programs they have if it means holding off on expanding programs for others.
See how easy it was to take away funds from one group of students and give it to another... Problem solved, right?
those high school kids did in fact solve the specific problem they set out to. they didnt want their programs cancelled and now they won't be.
because you don't like their solution and because it wasn't perfect doesn't mean their goals weren't accomplished, irrespective of how much sarcasm you can inject into your posts. i know that must bug you.
people acted like their protestations were in vain and that clearly just isn't the case.
Who was mocking students and
Who was mocking students and what were they saying to mock them? I observed overwhelming support for the students. Sure there were a few people who called out the students who were starting fights and throwing bottles at police, but overall there was 99% backing for students skipping school to rally against budget cuts. Stop making these proactive students victims!
Waiting for more details
I think this is probably a good decision from a "do no harm" perspective, but I'll be really impressed when/if they figure out how to put together a budget that actually moves the district forward rather than just struggling each year to figure out how to minimize the pain of the annual budget shortfall. It will be interesting to see what will actually be included in the new budget proposal.
The younger kids should skip classes with profanity laced signs
The younger kids should skip classes with profanity laced signs. Eventually the cuts will shift down to kids too small to skip school. Any budget increase for the truant officers?
They should misspell the profanities to show what a poor education they are getting.
plenty of profanities in my head when Marty Walsh would not even speak with the student protestors and got in his SUV to go across the street. When will he learn about dialogue?
Really isn't the school budget directly. The school budget has been determined for at least the past two decades by taking the total city revenues and multiplying by 35% plus or minus some noise. This year is no different except it's minus a little more noise this year.
Here's the problem. The city has zealously guarded the school and public safety budgets. They have effectively been the same as a percentage of the budget forever. If money was needed to balance the budget they just took it from another department.
The chickens are coming home to roost. Every other department is down to bare bones staffing and budgeting. Parks assessing public works have been starved. Where they could they closed departments like the printing department - which should have been done anyway.
The problem is the "fixed cost" component. State assessments, debt service , pensions and retiree benefits are growing at twice the rate of revenue growth and devouring the budget. Until they get a handle on this you can expect these problems to persist indefinitely.
Don't bring me problems
Bring me solutions
1) cut/freeze wage
2) cut bennies
3) move to defined contribution instead of defined benefit
4) raise taxes
Those are your choices
....let's hire Teach for America!
I'll take door number three
I believe that in order to address the problem in any meaningful way, new pensions must end. We cannot keep burdening the taxpayers of the future with the debts of the present.
Unfortunately, we will still be on the hook for the debts of the past. The pension system was not set up to support retirees for longer than they worked. We need to limit pensions to people who actually retired. Twenty years is not a real career duration.
Meanwhile the City is giving away 10's of millions of dollars...
The administration and the City Council are giving away the Winthrop Square Garage to the BRA for no money down. This property is worth anywhere from 50 to 150 million dollars and City Hall is giving it away to the BRA for free, with a deal that says the City will get some money back after the BRA gives the property away to the developer of its choice (so not necessarily to the highest bidder), with either a 99 year lease or sale, and the BRA can take as long as they want to do the deal and they can take whatever fees they want before giving the remainder back to the City.
This property could be sold before the end of the fiscal year and there would be no deficit whatsoever in all of the school system.
Sigh, that is not what is happening in Winthrop Square
The city is giving the BRA authority to handle the real estate transaction. When the property is sold to a developer, the money will indeed go to the city.
That's what the BRA claims
That's what the BRA claims but isn't actually the case.
Read the RFP it is available online
On page 1 of the introduction:
The BRA will take "...any other necessary costs and expenses occurred in connection with the disposal of the Garage."
Would you sign an agreement with a real estate broker that didn't have a set fee for his services? More accurately would you sign an agreement with someone that says they can take 'any other necessary costs and expenses occurred' ?
Open ended contracts like that with nothing that defines what exactly entails 'costs and expenses' are not the type that are advocated in business schools.
Why not make the city council
Why not make the city council seats a four year term and use that money saved towards the schools.
Then they wouldn't be answerable to the voters as much.
My counter to your proposal would be-
What would we do when costs increase even more and the money saved by taking the vote away from the citizens isn't enough to fund the schools?
Mayor Walsh has told School
Abuse of office?
At the very least, the lesson here is obviously "Whine and complain about things, and you will eventually get your way, even it it's at the expense of others."
No abuse of power, sorry
The good citizens of Boston voted to do away with the elected school committee and the current school committee, appointed by the mayor, is, for the most part, more of an advisory panel for the school superintendent, who really serves at the discretion of the mayor.
You wouldn't be the only person to not like that, but it's not like that's new or some secret thing we're only just learning about.
Why shouldn't the city's top
Why shouldn't the city's top elected official direct a department head how to spend money? Unless a law says someone else like the City Council has that power.
Maybe if this administration didn't give GE a huge tax break the City might have some funds for the schools, fire department etc.
Doesn't go far in an almost $3 billion budget.
I'm no apologist for these deals but i will say that the PR alone that boston is getting from this deal seems to be paying for itself 5 times over. Only time will tell if we get any more biz relos out of this, but this was a bit of a coup for the city for short dollars that may multiply. If you are a top CEO looking to escape a hi tax or soon to be bankrupt state, your first thought now has to be let's look at Boston/mass.
Or maybe funds for the St Patrick's Day parade.
Audit: what happened?
The audit of the school department from last year seems to be gathering dust.
The Globe did an editorial pointing out spending issues:
I am skeptical of the claim that there are more than 30,000 empty seats, but there should be some attention to this.
Yes, the superintendent responds to and essentially reports to the mayor, but I don't have the sense that this mayor, or the others who appointed past school committees (Flynn, Menino) are as involved with BPS operations to the same degree as other departments. Which is why I think we need an audit.