Mayor Walsh Plans to Nix Budget Cuts Following Student Walkout
Following a massive walkout by thousands of students earlier in the week, Mayor Marty Walsh has revealed that he plans to nix the controversial budget cuts that would have affected Boston high schools.
According to the Boston Globe, the School Department will postpone about $6 million in new programs and move around money from the district-wide budget rather than instituting harsh cuts to high school budgets. Officials say that area high schools may in fact receive more financial support next year.
“For the young people that expressed their concerns the other day, this addresses their concerns,” Walsh told the Globe.
Previously, BPS Superintendent Tommy Chang had announced $20 million in proposed cuts to the central office budget, as well as nearly $12 million in cuts to the per-student funding formula, in order to deal with a $50 million deficit. The cuts would have resulted in increasing the number of school periods from six to seven, which meant the district could have eliminated several teaching positions.
More than 3,600 students walked out of class on Monday to protest the proposed cuts, while a crowd of more than 1,000 people gathered in front of the State House for a rally. Later that evening, a School Committee budget hearing was packed with parents, students, and teachers who vocalized their opposition to the cuts.
Judging by the mayor’s change of heart, it looks the protests have worked.