An Open Letter to BPS Parents

An Open Letter to BPS Parents

Dear BPS families,

As we continue our dialogue on the future of our education system this session, I have had the pleasure of visiting schools, engaging students, teachers and parents alike, meeting with administration officials, community partners and business leaders. The topics we have discussed ranged from curriculum to budgets past and present, Chapter 70 funding, Charter School Reimbursements, Special Education Circuit Breaker, McKinney Vento and UGGA. All are subjects that have specifically been spoken of in terms of annual budget shortfalls.

I have had the pleasure of working with Mayor Walsh and Superintendent McDonough in order to identify and understand their priorities. They have done a great job despite challenges within the City budget. Their work has assured that those challenges have as minimal impact as possible on our schools this year. However, it is clear that despite their best intentions we face severe fiscal constraints this year and in years to come. Public dollars are insufficient so we must find ways to leverage private investment if we are meet the challenge.

We are all committed to the education of all of our children particularly those who have little economic advantage. The future of financing the education system throughout the Commonwealth will always present challenges despite our best efforts. And that is why I felt that the issue of improving underperforming schools should remain at the forefront of our educational priorities.

In 2010 we passed landmark legislation that expanded opportunities for all students in challenged schools. And just yesterday we took another defined step in targeting those schools in the lowest performing tiers. There will be an opportunity to leverage private and public resources in order to improve the education of all students attending the most underperforming schools in the lowest performing tiers. With these changes I look forward to a narrowing and elimination of the persistent achievement gap that exists within our schools so that improvement affects all students not just a few.

For me this is not charter vs. traditional education debate. It is about our commitment to improve and assure achievement for all students. I believe that after many years of dialogue we need to leverage public and private resources in order to make sure our children in chronically under performing schools have more opportunities to succeed in our ever changing city. I also believe that an achievement gap that is so glaringly obvious must be dealt with head on. I further believe that expanding the Charter School cap is one significant way to leverage private investment.

As we proceed further in this dialogue I welcome your input and appreciate the passion, and time so many have placed on these important issues. I look forward to continue to work alongside you and others to make sure our educational system offers the best for all our children.

Yours,

Representative Jeffrey Sánchez

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