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High School Students Ask Boston’s Mayor to Explain Budget Cuts

14 February 2016

This letter was written by two BCLA ninth-graders in response to the $870,000 in proposed cuts to our school’s budget. Teachers assisted the students in editing the letter, but the ideas and content are entirely theirs.

BCLA at school committee
Boston Community Leadership Academy students demonstrated against a proposed $870,000 cut to their school’s budget in next year’s school budget. BANNER PHOTO

Leandra and Evelyn

February 4, 2016

 

Mayor Marty Walsh

1 City Hall Square, Suite 500

Boston, MA 02201-2013

 

Dear Mayor Walsh:

We are students at Boston Community Leadership Academy, one of the schools most affected by the cuts to next year’s budget.  We are personally inviting you, Mayor Walsh, to our wonderful school so that we can show you how amazing our school is and how everything — every teacher, every class — makes a difference in students’ lives.  

 

We are both 9th graders who were excited to start fresh and continue our education and make something of ourselves.  WE are the next generation of doctors, lawyers, and teachers.  However, we don’t have the same advantages to succeed in the future as private schools do.  Many of our peers will drop out, not get into college and whose fault will that be?  The majority of us just want to succeed and prepare for our future selves and our future children.  Taking away our schools’ resources isn’t helping.  

 

The students at BCLA want to go to college, they just don’t have the resources to help them.  BCLA gives everyone a chance by providing SAT Prep classes for every scholar, giving them

hope to go to college.  But if the budget cuts go through then there won’t be any more SAT prep, gym, Leadership or Theater Arts classes.  Some AP classes will be cut.  We will lose our library.  What will we be left with?  Nothing.  We want to beat the odds and be able to get out and make something of ourselves.  Education is the key to success, but how can we succeed if our education is being ripped out of our hands.

 

In your recent State of the City address you said, “[students] need to be part of the conversation about the direction their city is heading. And when it comes to our schools, they deserve to know that their Mayor stands behind them…I want to address them directly: I know how hard you work. I know the challenges you face…We need you to keep learning, and keep believing in your dreams. The rest is on us. You deserve a community united behind you. That’s why I want you and everyone to know: the Boston Public Schools are my priority.”  We are holding you to this and we are asking that you come to our school and explain to our students why you are letting this happen to BCLA on your watch.  If not to schools, where will this money go to?  Will the money be used as a resource for students?  We are inviting you to come to our school to explain to our 500 young scholars why their chances of getting into college have been lowered.  

 

Let us have a chance to fulfill our dreams.  The school committee has no power over this , YOU as the mayor can allocate more money to the school budget.  WE are the ones who are going to be struggling getting a decent education.  We refuse to stay quiet until we are satisfied as well as heard by the people who are in charge of ensuring that we get a good education.  Please come and explain to us why it has come to this.

 

Sincerely,

 

Leandra and Evelyn

 

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