Baseline School Budget Pledge
We the following parents, students, teachers and community members have come together to pledge our support for a new way of creating Boston Public School budgets that is equitable and healthy.
Each year, budget season means that when one school has an increase, another experiences a budget cut; where some students receive a great education, some students don’t. The weighted student funding formula, the lack of charter school reimbursements, and gentrification have taken their toll on school budgets. Choices such as whether a school has a social worker or a science teacher, whether to have toilet paper or writing paper in schools are unfortunate decisions that no one should have to make.
The budget must keep the promises that are made for a quality education, regardless of small or large schools or changes in enrollment.
The current FY20 BPS budget does not provide a foundation for every school to provide its students with an excellent education. In a city and state as wealthy as ours, we refuse to accept that this is the best we can do. We need fully funded schools. In addition to equity-based allocation of funding for students with high needs, we need to guarantee a baseline quality of education for every school, classroom, and child. We pledge to support one another in our search for equity by demanding a baseline budget that covers the following at every BPS school:
1) Curriculum that is racially/culturally responsive with a student and community centered learning process.
2) Arts programs, music, technology, and sports or recess at every school.
3) More time for recess and creative activities, and, where possible, green space so children can play outside.
4) Science and technology classes to prepare every student for the 21st century future.
5) More dual language schools and highly qualified ESL teachers to support all English Learners.
6) Alternatives to suspension including restorative justice, and an anti-bullying curriculum across the district.
7) Opportunities for enriching and fun field trips for every child.
8) Quality before and after-school programming at all schools.
9) Clean, up-to-date facilities with regular maintenance, and more safety in hallways and classrooms.
10) Clean bathrooms, with enough soap and toilet paper to go around.
11) Healthy, yummy food, tap water that is safe for drinking, and enough time for students to eat.
12) Guaranteed transportation for students who need it and bus monitors to keep them safe.
13) Guidance counselors, a nurse, special education, and enough social emotional support to meet every student’s needs.
14) Full staffing for inclusion classrooms, including but not limited to two teachers and a para, with enough funding to allow for differentiated instruction to meet the learning needs of all students.
15) A comprehensive parent engagement plan with welcoming school practices and fully functioning parent councils that shift the culture in the district to value parent leadership.
16) A full-time parent engagement coordinator at each school to focus on creating a healthy parent and school site council at each school.
17) Support for teachers to allow them a manageable workload, sufficient supplies, and professional development.
18) More principals/headmasters and teachers of color.
19) Principals/headmasters who are effective, good listeners, communicative, collaborative, supportive of shared leadership, long-lasting and representative of our students cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
20) A Hub Schools coordinator at every school whose role is to connect wraparound supports and community resources with the students and their families.