Last week the joint House and Senate Committee on Education held an all-day hearing on a few key measures up for debate at the State House. One bill filed by Russell Holmes (D-Boston) and Barry Finegold (D-Andover) at the request of the Boston Foundation would eliminate the charter cap. The elimination of the charter cap would allow for the unfettered growth of charter schools, which currently drain the BPS of approximately $100 million annually.
Another bill, filed by Mayor Menino, would force our 48 Level 3 schools into turnaround status. Two others, one again filed by Russell Holmes, would allow superintendents to waive a variety of provisions in CBAs throughout the state, including such provisions as the length of the school day and the work year, compensation et al.
And finally there was a bill filed by Alice Peisch (D-Wellesley) that would allow Level 3 schools on the precipice of Level 4 status to take their own measures, jointly supported by management and staff, to take a last-ditch effort to turn the school around. The Peisch bill was supported by the BTU, the AFTMA, the MTA, and the Mass Association of School Superintendents, all of whose representatives spoke in favor of it. See a jointly-signed letter here in support.
In regard to support of the Peisch bill, much was made of the fact that all four often disparate parties had joined forces to work on a problem that all feel strongly about: preventing schools from falling into Level 4 status. We will have more information on what you can do to help us on this bill shortly.