Superintendent Johnson is making a tough — but inevitable — decision
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Carol Johnson is doing the right thing by suggesting to close or to combine at least 18 public schools in the Boston Public School system.
The estimated savings, according to Johnson, would be about $10 million and would go part of the way to reducing an expected $60 million budget deficit for the coming school year.
Her decision will apparently cause the merger of the Dante Alighieri Elementary School with the Mario Umana Middle School Academy to create a K-8 program.
Rightfully and justifiably, many local parents are outraged and disappointed by this decision.
Running fewer schools in a large and cumbersome system where many of the facilities are hopelessly outdated and where there are so many empty seats does not make economic sense nor does it enhance the educational experience of those who attend the schools.
What is mainly lost in these closings is the convenience of the local school in the sprawling educational district for many of those who attend them.
This explains the protests and howls of many students and their parents who are asking for a reprieve.
The reprieve in all likelihood is not going to materialize.
The Boston Public Schools needs to get leaner, to reduce costs, to shut ancient buildings that are inefficient and outdated.
It needs very badly to reorganize itself into a leaner meaner organization that is more highly organized in order to deliver improved services and teaching to the students who attend.
The school closings are regrettable but they are necessary – and they will be implemented.
The days of cozy little neighborhood schools in the sprawling system are past.
Funding realities and new educational modalities are the steel fisted imperatives of the thoroughly modern public school system.
Boston is seeking to be that system.
This is the beginning of much bigger changes to follow.
We are with you if you are losing your public school.
However the success of the system at-large is more important than any one of its older, costly to run and to maintain, underutilized schools.
We regret the closings but they are inevitable.