Important Community Meetings Next Week
As we near the end of the process of selecting a new student assignment plan for Boston, community members will have a chance to give the External Advisory Committee feedback on the proposed plans. This will likely be your last opportunity to give feedback on these plans before the EAC votes on their final recommendation.
The Boston School Commitee will likely hold hearings on the plans, but once the EAC has made a recommendation, it will be politically difficult for significant changes to be made given the process the EAC has gone through.
The first meeting will be Monday, February 4th from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at the Orchard Gardens K-8 school in Roxbury. BPS will present the plans and accept feedback. The second meeting will be Tuesday, February 5th at Suffolk University at 73 Tremont Street downtown from 6:00 - 7:00 pm. My understanding is that BPS will not present the plans at this meeting, but will only accept feedback from the community. They plan to have a working meeting of the committee from 7:00 - 8:30, but I suspect there will be more than an hour of public comment, so we'll see what happens.
It's unfortunate that BPS is only holding two meetings to get feedback on this plan. After they released their initial proposed plans BPS had a series of meetings and a survey on their web site to get feedback. Unfortunately, the EAC quickly lost interest in those plans once several more creative plans were proposed by members of the community. The result of this is that now that we have seen the plans that the EAC is likely to actually consider, there is very little time for the community to offer feedback.
This is why it is so important that we have good turnout at these meetings. Please plan to arrive early, if you can. If you can't arrive early, please come anyway. Even if you can't get in, you will be sending a message with your presence that the community cares about this process and more opportunities for feedback are needed.
If you need more information on the plans, this presentation is helpful. BPS has promised to release a technical report with much more information on the impact of these plans, but we don't know when it will be available. You can also use this tool I created to see which schools you can choose from under the proposed "Home-Based" plans.