At the last city council meeting for 2018, Councilor Annissa Essaibi George discussed her recent hearing on whether or not Boston should go back to an elected school committee.
Boston Public School’s committee is currently made up of seven members appointed by the Mayor and has been since 1992. Prior to that, there was a thirteen-member elected committee. Boston residents have differing opinions on the potential revival of an elected school committee.
On one hand, some attendees said at the hearing that going back to an elected body would not be a wise decision for the city and that is should remain an appointed position. One individual remembered when the city had an elected school committee and said it was a disaster that negatively impacted families. However, others want to revisit an elected body, saying the current system ignores residents and what they want.
“They want to have a voice. They want to have a choice,” said Councilor Essaibi George about residents.
The councilor said there isn’t enough transparency about how school committee members are chosen and appointed. Most community members are confused or know little about the process. “This needs to change,” she said.
Essaibi George admits if the council wants to change the school committee, it would be a lengthy process requiring a charter change.
She recommended future discussions and making small immediate changes so residents and families feel like they have more of a say when it comes to the school department.
A Final Word from Councilor Pressley
In her last city council meeting before heading off to Congress, Ayanna Pressley shared thoughts about her recent hearing about violence and trauma in the city.
“Gun violence is choking the promise of our city,” she said.
There are many residents dealing with trauma because of the rising violence happening in various communities. She recommended that schools have more councilors to help students deal with this trauma.
Pressley also admits there needs to be more changes on a legislative level. “We need to pass comprehensive gun control including background checks,” she said.
Despite this being her last meeting, she vowed to keeping fighting and making changes against gun violence.
“As I take this fight to Washington, I will make sure survivors are seen and heard,” she said.