The last time I visited a Congressional office, I sat at the knee of the Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill. He gave me a Celtics pennant, which (rumor had it) was given to him by Red Auerbach following the Celtics championship run earlier that year. It was 1986, and I was eight years old. This past March, I returned to Capitol Hill with my Boston School Committee colleague, Jamaica Plain native Michael O’Neill, and representatives from the Boston Public Schools (BPS) and the city of Boston to ask our representatives and senators to preserve federal funding for our schools. Boston, like many other large urban districts around the country, has faced declining federal revenue streams during the last several years.
The community is invited to a public meeting to discuss the Boston Public Schools' BuildBPS plan on Jan. 10 at English High School. Interim Superintendent Laura Perille, a Jamaica Plain resident, and school committee members will be on hand to discuss the plan, its impacts on neighborhoods and to answer questions. The BuildBPS plan calls for some old schools to close, new schools to be built, and other schools to expand, including growing the amount of K-6 schools. Jamaica Plain's Manning School wants to be one of the schools to add a sixth grade. In December the school committee voted to close the former West Roxbury High School building, which houses Urban Science Academy and West Roxbury Academy.
The Boston Public Schools has released a new report about the city's 10-year facilities plan, which includes the possibility of building a new K-6 elementary school building near Jackson Square. The Boston Public School's previously announced the BuildBPS plan, which calls for some old schools to close, new schools to be built, and other schools to expand, including growing the amount of K-6 schools. Jamaica Plain's Manning School wants to be one of the schools to add a sixth grade. There will be a JP BuildBPS community meeting on Jan. 10 to discuss the $1 billion plan. It will be the fourteenth community meeting across the city to discuss the plan, with the first 13 having already taken place before Nov.
Michael Loconto was elected chairperson of the Boston Public School Committee in the beginning of 2018. As a parent of three school-age children he has a keen perspective of the school system. He answered questions from Jamaica Plain News about library services for schools, his relationship with Mayor Martin Walsh and more. Q: Let's get some basics out of the way. You live in West Roxbury with your wife and three school-age kids?
The Boston School Committee is currently accepting applications for two open school committee seats for two four-year terms beginning on January 4th, 2016. The deadline to submit applications is Monday, November 9th at 5 pm. "Schools are the backbone of our communities, and we need strong and caring leaders on the Boston School Committee to make the best choices for our student's future," said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. "Our School Committee members are tasked with the important role of offering valuable input to increase pathways to success for all students, and I look forward to bringing new voices to the table." The Boston School Committee governs the Boston Public Schools are responsible for the following:
Defining the vision, mission and goals of the Boston Public Schools;
Establishing and monitoring the annual operating budget;
Hiring, managing and evaluating the superintendent;
Setting and reviewing district policies and practices to support student achievement
There are seven members of the school committee and they must be Boston residents, and are appointed by the mayor to serve four-year staggered terms. A 13-member Citizens Nominating Panel composed of parents, teachers, principals and representatives of the business and higher education communities provide candidates to the mayor.