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星期三, 3月 23, 2016

The Boston School Committee to Vote on BPS Budget that Adds 200 New Pre-K Seats, Invests in Special Education Supports

The Boston School Committee to Vote on BPS Budget that Adds 200 New Pre-K Seats, Invests in Special Education Supports
Investments to help close achievement gaps


BOSTON – Wednesday, March 23, 2016  The Boston School Committee is scheduled to vote tonight on the Boston Public Schools’ (BPS) FY17 budget that makes targeted investments in early and special education. These investments include adding more than 200 pre-kindergarten seats next year, $1 million for Special Education (SPED) support teams and $1 million to fund a SPED data system that will enhance parent access to their student’s individualized education plan and to provide BPS with better data to improve the quality of services.

Early childhood education is one of the most research-proven ways to close the opportunity and achievement gaps.

BPS has released on its website a “Budget Basics” fact sheet that answers frequently asked questions about the budget process. 

"This budget represents important work to close the opportunity and achievement gaps, while also addressing some challenges and tradeoffs due to continually rising costs," BPS Superintendent Tommy Chang said. "I am confident that this proposal is built on our values of equity, coherence and innovation, and I look forward to continuing this conversation as we move forward with the long-term financial plan for Boston Public Schools." 

A recommended budget was first released on February 3rd and every dollar allocated to a school is tracked on a spreadsheet that is also available on the BPS website. Over the past two months, BPS has engaged in a public dialogue with the School Committee, listening to input from its members and the community. The School Committee has also held three public hearings on the proposed budget in Dorchester, Jamaica Plain and Roxbury.

The proposed $1.027 billion budget represents an increase of $13.5 million over the previous school year and it is the largest school budget in Boston's history. Since taking office, Mayor Martin J. Walsh has increased funding to the Boston Public Schools by a total of nearly $90 million over three years. 

If approved by the Committee, the budget will then be submitted to the Boston City Council for final approval later this spring. For more information on the BPS budget, including the fact sheet, log onto www.bostonpublicschools.org .