Below is a statement from the Boston Coalition for Education Equality regarding the recent decision of the Boston School Committee to hand over the McCormack playing field to the Dorchester Boys and Girls Club.

You can read it below:

The action of the Boston School Committee last week, allowing the Dorchester Boys and Girls Clubs to build their field house on the McCormack School’s athletic field, proves once again that Boston needs an elected School Committee.

The McCormack School and Harbor Point neighborhood communities have spent the past several years fighting the City and BPS. Students, parents, teachers, elected officials and advocates from across Boston testified against the proposal for hours. And yet, near midnight, the School Committee passed the vote anyway, with only 3 of 7 members supporting.

If Boston elected its School Committee, like every other district in Massachusetts, the political careers of the Committee members who supported the land grab would be at an end.

Instead, they will suffer no adverse consequences for disregarding the voices of students, teachers, and residents and putting the desires of the Mayor and his allies first.

It’s not the first time this has happened and it won’t be the last, because the current system is designed to make the public officials who govern Boston’s schools accountable to the Mayor, rather than to students, parents, and educators.

The last time a School Committee member bucked the Mayor, he did not reappoint her. We’ll see what happens to the members who stood up for the McCormack students this time. We applaud Committee members Lorna Rivera and Jeri Robinson for their courage in voting to oppose.

On June 12, 2020 Mayor Walsh declared racism “a Public Health Crisis in the City of Boston.” We agree with his words, but his recent actions—directing the School Committee to give away the athletic fields of a school whose students are mostly low-income children of color, show that structural racism is alive and well in Boston.

Boston’s appointed School Committee—responsible to the mayor, and through the mayor to the power elite of the city—is an integral part of that structure.

Moving to an elected School Committee is a necessary and critical action Boston must take toward dismantling this racist and undemocratic power structure.

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