Seeking to outline her BPS education policy agenda, City Councillor Annissa Essaibi-George last week introduced a series of ten hearing orders, including six re-filed from last year when she chaired the council’s Education Committee.
“As a BPS parent and the only BPS teacher on the council, advocating for BPS students, teachers, and families continues to be my top priority,” Essaibi-George said in a statement released by her office. “By calling for public hearings on these topics, this legislative package seeks to hold BPS accountable to their mission of transparency and community engagement.”
Among the re-filed orders were one focused on the BuildBPS planning process and another analyzing the governance structure of the school committee.
She also wants a hearing to present a mid-year audit of the BPS transportation system and budget, which she says are often “chaos inducing,” especially at the start of each school year.
At-large Councillor Michael Flaherty echoed the importance of a hearing to focus on efficiency of transportation costs, saying, “These are very precious funds that would be better used in the classroom. The time has come to look at this. Transportation costs have spun out of control.”
In other areas, Essaibi-George, who says “we need to identify system improvements,” wants to evaluate school safety and security, develop a funding and admissions policy for Madison Park Tech, establish a City Council Youth Council, and take up issues like the BPS staffing of mental health and social emotional support specialists.
In addition to ensuring transparency with the planning process, the latest draft of the BuildBPS hearing order joins with District 6 Councillor O’Malley in emphasizing achieving the goal of zero net carbon for all public schools.