Boston Public Schools Anticipate Student Walkout Over Budget Cuts
Students of Boston Public Schools are expected to walk out Monday and hold a demonstration in front of the State House, as part of nationwide protests against budget cuts.
The walkout, expected to take place at 11:30 a.m., coincides with a national effort organized by Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, a coalition holding similar protests in cities across the country.
In order to tackle a $50 million shortfall, BPS Superintendent Tommy Chang recently announced $20 million in proposed cuts to the central office budget, in addition to as much as $12 million from the per-student funding formula, which would affect individual schools’ budgets. The School Committee is expected to approve the budget March 23.
Last week, BPS officials wrote a letter to parents, notifying them of the potential walkout.
“While we encourage our students to become leaders in their community and advocate for their schools, BPS does not sanction students leaving school without permission during the day,” the letter read. “Students who choose to participate will be marked absent from any classes that they miss. If your child does leave school, we will notify you by phone.”
Parents received a robocall from BPS Monday morning, containing the same message.
BPS teachers, parents, and advocates picketed Mayor Marty Walsh’s State of the City address at Symphony Hall in January. “To be honest, I voted for Walsh. If I knew that would mean nine of my colleagues would be forced to leave, I’d reconsider that vote,” said Banjineh Browne, a teacher at the Boston Community Leadership Academy for the last three years. “Education should be the No. 1 concern.”
Walsh will testify on Beacon Hill before the Joint Committee on Education at 10 a.m. Monday before heading to Faneuil Hall to join Gov. Charlie Baker and Forbes publisher Randall Lane to announce Boston as the new home of the magazine’s Under 30 Summit, an invitation-only event expected to draw 5,000 Millennials this October.