BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has laid out a $2 billion dollar plan to overhaul Boston Public Schools, which she says be a 'Green New Deal' for schools.
The plan would be kickstarted with a $605 million dollar investment in the 2023 fiscal year Capital Plan "to launch major new projects, with new staffing and planning tools to deliver urgent improvements for BPS communities" according to a press release from the mayor's office. Then, the multi-billion dollar plan would overhaul BPS facilities, with renovations and new construction.
"A majority of our buildings were built before 1950," Mayor Wu said today. "Many lack quality and modern H-VAC systems, clean drinking water, let alone the facilities and resources for a world class education."
The mayor made the announcement Thursday alongside outgoing superintendent Brenda Casellius, standing outside one of the highest-need school buildings in Boston: the McKinley Elementary School and McKinley South End Academy.
Mayor Wu said along with construction projects, the plan would "increase the pace of district-wide upgrades, like renovating bathrooms, planting school gardens, installing water fountains."
When it comes to environmental priorities, the mayor's office says the plan will reduce emissions, working toward the city's goal of decarbonization.
"BPS facilities make up nearly half of City-owned building emissions," the statement said. "School construction, renovation, and retrofit projects will support citywide climate action while also building community resilience to extreme weather events."
"Now is the time for bold and decisive action," said Mayor Wu at the press conference. "We must implement a green new deal and Boston must lead the way."
“Every child deserves a modern, up-to-date and well-equipped learning environment that stimulates their creativity and fuels their excitement about learning,” said BPS Superintendent Cassellius. “Creating high quality schools in every neighborhood was a goal of mine when I first came to Boston. The City’s commitment to creating 21st-century school buildings and classrooms across Boston is an important step forward for our students and families, and for the entire BPS community.”
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