Published On: October 13, 2015

We extend a welcome to our new readers. We have added a few hundred email addresses to our list serve, mostly new staff. If you are already getting this email using a different address, please scroll below if you wish to list your preferred address.

If you are new to the school system, welcome, and we’re glad you’re aboard one of the best urban school systems in the country. We are proud of what we accomplish day in and day out, and we are glad you’ve joined our team.

If you have questions on any school issue or benefit-related topic, please call the BTU at 617-288-2000. Find out who represents your school site or professional group, and find out more about your benefits and rights. Again, welcome, and feel free to email any one of us for assistance.

(By the way, the email list we use for the weekly e-bulletin is protected, confidential, and is only used for this purpose.)

The news here this week begins and ends with the charter school debate. Today there’s a hearing on Beacon Hill to discuss a variety of charter school proposals, including the governor’s. The governor has said that he doesn’t care how the charter cap is lifted (by referendum, lawsuit, or legislation) as long as it is lifted. Towards that end Governor Baker has filed legislation to remove the cap.

We need 30 seconds of your time

Few reading this can get to the State House today, but each of you can email your state representative and senator to show your support for our public schools by asking them to “Keep the Cap” on charters. Please give us 30 seconds to make our voice heard. That’s all it will take: 30 seconds. Click here and email your legislator.

Commonwealth charters will drain more than $121 million this school year from our public schools. Last year, 2014-2015, our district lost $104 million to Commonwealth charters. Under the governor’s proposal, the yearly loss will continue to grow.  Looked at another way, the $121 million to be lost this year amounts to reduced resources of more than $2,000 for every student in the BPS. Please help our school system by emailing your legislator.

What’s more, most charters do not act in the best public interest. They under-enroll students who are English language learners as well as those with special needs. Charters routinely counsel out students who are not a “good fit.” These practices deem them unworthy of public dollars.

Read more information on charters, myths and reality. Thank you!

Boston Latin Academy teachers wear their “Keep the Cap on Charters” stickers. Photo by Mike Maguire

Introducing BTU Table Talks Before Next Membership Meeting

Before next week’s membership meeting from 3:45-4:20, please join us for BTU Table Talks, a session of informal conversations and Q & A sessions about current issues, interesting topics, and available resources. As of this writing, there are at least three table talks scheduled: Paul and Shanika will be doing one entitled: Extended Learning Time: How’s it going? How can we help? Michael will be doing a table on evaluations. Richard will be doing one on BPS tax-savings plans, such as the 403B and the Mass Smart Plan.
Recognize these lost items from the BTU party?
Two weeks ago the BTU held its annual Back to School Party, and some folks had so much fun they left their keys. If you recognize your keys, stop by the office, or if you’d prefer, we can mail them to you.
Have a good week!

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