Boston Schools Avoid Increased State Control With Last-Minute Deal

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Boston Public Schools and the state have reached a last-minute deal to avoid stepped-up state oversight of the district.

Boston Public Schools will need to follow a Systematic Improvement Plan, obtained here by SHNS, that touches on several problems the state found in the district in a report released last month.

The city and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) struck the deal late Monday night, ahead of a vote to designate the school "underperforming," which would have led to more state control of the district.

Among other things, the new agreement formalizes a plan to improve student safety, bolster the district's bus system, and redesign the district's special education program, that the May report described as "in disarray."

Antonietta Brownell is a teacher with BPS and a union member, and thinks the redesign of the district's special education department will be the most challenging part of the agreement.

"I don't think it's going to be hard...for teachers to do it. I think it's a financial thing. I think that it will cost the city more money if it's done in the way the teacher's union proposes," she says.

DESE is committing $10 million to help support the initiatives under a three year plan — and will also hire an independent auditor to make sure goals are met.

BPS said in a statement that it is "eager to move forward," and that the plan contains "clear timelines and joint commitments to eliminate systemic barriers to educational opportunity."

WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasNews) has more:

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