Education: Ensuring Equity
Education is power. As someone who dropped out and went on to become the first to graduate high school and college, education was my pathway out of poverty. The more that families, schools, and city government can work together, the closer we’ll be to achieving an accessible, excellent public education for all Boston students.
I will fight for a fully-funded Boston Public Schools budget. Boston is not doing enough to close the opportunity gap for marginalized communities; a majority of schools in need of comprehensive support are in black and brown neighborhoods. Racially discriminatory policies continue to impact how resources are distributed within the district. We need to move away from weighted-student funding and instead focus on foundation funding. Parents, students, and teachers have been fighting for counselors, librarians, arts programs, STEM in every school, and access to healthy foods. I stand with them and will advocate for them in City Hall.
Stop the School to Prison Pipeline
Much of my work has been focused on addressing the school to prison pipeline, which is fueled by increased suspension rates and inequitable disciplinary processes. I will continue to work with my City Council colleagues to address the ways that school culture and climate impact the nature in which students’ needs are met in order to #breakthepipeline. I will work to ensure that schools across sectors are held accountable for their disciplinary practices not just the Boston Public Schools. I will continue to elevate the voices of parents, service providers, students, and educators to explore the intersection of race, resiliency, and trauma and how they impact the school to prison pipeline.
We must reinvigorate our dedication to universal pre-kindergarten education. Access to full-day pre-kindergarten programs staffed with certified teachers (within a Boston Public School or community-based program) help working parents and guardians who may otherwise not be able to afford expensive daycare programs.
I will work with the Pilot Action Group to hold private universities and colleges publicly accountable for their payment plans. I will call for a full assessment of the actual payment plan and hold these institutions accountable to their agreed-upon payments, generating much needed city revenue. I also support H2407 filed by Representative Natalie Blais, which would guarantee that PILOT payments would be paid in full.
The School Committee
I support an elected school committee. I also support every effort to limit the influence of special interest groups and money in the election process, ensuring that racial and economic barriers do not prevent anyone from running for a seat on the committee. The student representative must be a voting member.
Our committee needs to reflect our community. We need dedicated, intentional representation. To achieve this, the way in which an elected school committee is structured must ensure members come from the parent, teacher and student communities in addition to community members that are committed to public education.
I will advocate for a moratorium on any school community closures until an equity analysis can be completed to assess the impact along racial and economic demographics. If there is a need for a building closure, I will work alongside the Boston Teachers Union and school communities to ensure that we keep communities intact.
We need to move beyond thinking of vocational schools as a secondary or fallback pathway for students in Boston. For those students who may not choose to go down the path of a traditional four-year college degree, we need to build profitable paths to employment. I will work with local unions and nonprofits to place students in paid apprenticeships with skilled tradespeople.