From The Boston Globe: The Boston School Committee has voted to close or merge 18 schools. School Committee members argued that they had no choice. The district is facing a potential $63 million shortfall for the next school year. The district has some 5,600 empty classroom seats scattered across the city, and downsizing the district will reduce excess capacity by a quarter, saving about $10 million.
NOVEMBER 2010...from The Boston Globe: Boston school officials say that devastating cuts at every school are on the horizon if the district does not close schools and reduce transportation spending. John McDonough, the School Department’s chief financial officer, has told the School Committee that budget cuts could shrink or eliminate programs for early childhood education, the arts, drop-out prevention, and family outreach. Facility improvements and the purchase of textbooks and supplies, areas that have been cut in recent years, could take another hit. Superintendent Carol R. Johnson and her staff presented the dire financial outlook in reaction to the public backlash over her school-closing recommendations, which initially was presented as an academic improvement plan and gave short shrift to the city’s bleak finances.
Earlier....from The Boston Globe: Boston School Superintendent Carol R. Johnson has presented a revised proposal to the School Committee that would spare one of the three high schools in the Hyde Park area that she had recommended for closing this month. Johnson’s new plan calls for keeping open the Community Academy of Science and Health, while the Social Justice Academy and the Engineering School could close at the end of the school year.
EARLIER...from The Boston Globe: Boston Superintendent Carol R. Johnson has recommended closing six schools plagued by low academic achievement. Among those marked for closing are three high schools — the Community Academy of Science and Health, the Engineering School, and the Social Justice Academy — that opened five years ago to much fanfare, replacing the troubled Hyde Park High. School officials had hoped that the smaller schools would create an improved atmosphere and spur success in the classroom, but the schools have struggled with low graduation rates and poor standardized test scores. The other schools slated for closing are the Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary School, the Roger Clap Elementary School and the East Zone Early Learning Center.