Boston avoids state takeover of public school system

BOSTON (AP) — Boston leaders and state education officials reached a last-minute deal to avoid an “underperforming” designation and state takeover of the public school system. in trouble of the city.

The agreement announced late Monday by Mayor Michelle Wu and Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley includes city commitments to implement immediate improvement efforts in several key areas, including services for English learners. and students in special education, safety and transportation.

“This agreement documents specific steps, timelines, and a clear scope for a partnership with the state that sets our district up for success, and I’m pleased that our discussions have ultimately reinforced that Boston’s local communities know best how offer to our schools,” Wu said in a statement.

The school system, currently in the search for a new superintendent, said in a statement that the agreement includes “commitments to remove systemic barriers to educational opportunity, build operational capacity to implement systemic change and support students of Boston to reach their full potential”. potential.”

The Boston Teachers Union said a state takeover would have been a disaster.

“Educators, parents, families and students have been advocating for years for the solutions we know our school communities need, and now is the time to redirect our energy, time and resources to push back against power plays. ill-conceived towards local democracy. solutions a reality,” union president Jessica Tang said in a statement.

The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, in a report released in May, found “significant and persistent challenges” in schools across the city.

As part of the agreement, the Department of Education has pledged to hire an independent auditor to ensure the integrity of data collected by the city and to provide $10 million in financial support and technical assistance.

The state’s largest school system has about 46,000 students in 113 schools, according to state data.

Jeremy S. McLain