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Tuesday, June 21, 2022

波士頓學校委員會該民選 民團呼籲市長吳弭聽民意

Bostonians for an Elected School Committee calls on Mayor Michelle Wu to fulfill the city’s undeniable demand for an elected School Committee. In November 2021, more than 99,000 Bostonians voted for a democratically elected school committee. We ask the Mayor to honor this mandate and work with the City Council to develop a transparent timeline for advancing Boston’s home rule petition so that voting can begin in 2023.

We thank the City Council for getting to work on a home rule petition with the urgency that such an unequivocal election result demands. The voters and city council agree that change can’t wait on this important civil rights issue, but under state law, the petition must be signed by the mayor before it can go to the State House to be enacted. That is why it is imperative for Mayor Wu to engage with the Council now to decide what a new elected School Committee should look like.

 

At a recent meeting with our coalition, Mayor Wu indicated she will not work on (much less move forward) the home rule petition process until a new superintendent is in place and the schools are “stabilized and on the right track.” Waiting this long would render it impossible for Boston to have any elected school committee members seated before 2026. 


We share the Mayor’s commitment to addressing the problems facing BPS and appreciate her work to simultaneously address the myriad other concerns Boston faces. But leaving the unresponsive system in place isn’t helping, either. If mayoral control could fix BPS’s issues, Boston has had 30 years to prove it. The succession of scandals and new threats of state takeover show that the current system, in which the mayor bears sole responsibility for all key decisions, isn’t working. 


This is not the Mayor’s fault. It’s simply not possible for any mayor to both run a major city and devote the same level of attention to schools that an elected committee—comprised of members solely focused on the success of our schools—could. In Boston and across the country, the experiment with mayoral control of schools has failed. Most districts that have tried it have abandoned it or are in the process of doing so. Neither is state intervention the answer—as state leaders have proven through their mismanagement of the districts and schools they now control. Like state takeovers, mayoral control has succeeded in only one thing: disenfranchising voters.


Families, educators, and community members are frustrated by not being heard by appointed members. That frustration with a system that denies us a vote and a voice is why the November referendum carried every precinct in every ward in the city. 

 

Democracy is not a panacea, but it is the best system we have. A democratically elected school committee, accountable to voters, is the best way to address the complex issues BPS faces, restore trust in our schools, and engage the community in BPS’s success, all while bringing the accountability and transparency that we know the Mayor supports.

 

We call on Mayor Wu to work with her constituents and with our City Councilors to finalize and send a home rule petition to the legislature in 2022.

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