At the end of July, the BTU reported that the school district was poised to give away two school buildings to in-district Horace Mann charter schools.
One of those buildings is a new facility to be constructed where the current Dearborn School is located. The new facility, the first new school building built in Boston in a decade, has been promised to the Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter School, which currently runs a Horace Mann Charter located at the site of the old Emerson School. An affirmative vote by the Boston School Committee is still required to complete this transaction.
The other building has not yet been identified, but it has been described as either an elementary or a K-8 school that will hold up to 800 students. There are not many such buildings. The school yet to be identified will be given to Unlocking Potential (UP) as a Horace Mann Charter School. UP currently runs three other former BPS schools (the Gavin, Holland, and Marshall). Two of the schools — the Gavin and the Marshall — are run as Horace Mann Charter Schools. The Holland came under a Level 5 designated receivership through state intervention. UP runs other Horace Mann Charter schools throughout Massachusetts.
The Dearborn school community has raised serious concerns about the entire process of losing its school to an outside entity. The Boston Globe reported on this on August 5. A local blogger, Parent Imperfect, has also weighed in on the Dearborn controversy.
The community has set up an event (PDF) to honor all those who attended school at the 35 Greenville Street site.
Finally, the heading in the July 29 BTU e-Bulletin referred to the district’s giving away two buildings to Commonwealth Charters even though the body of the piece referred to them as Horace Mann Charters. The heading was in error: these are Horace Mann Charters. Horace Mann charters are in-district charters, and those who work in them fall under the BPS-BTU umbrella, albeit under a different set of rules. Commonwealth Charters are independent charter schools.