Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has proposed a 10-year, $1 billion plan to upgrade the city's public school facilities.
"To put it simply, Boston’s schools are out of date," Walsh said in a guest column in The Boston Globe. "Our teachers, principals, and staff work tirelessly and creatively...but the fact is, 65 percent of Boston’s 127 schools were built before World War II, fewer than half of those have been fully renovated, and it shows."
The mayor announced his initiative in his State of the City Address and spelled out some of the details in thea guest column published in guest column.
Walsh envisions sweeping upgrades to the school system's infrastructure: innovative buildings and renovations; livable, nurturing environments with fresh air and sunlight, clean water, comfortable climates, and increased accessibility; classrooms with the furnishings and technology of modern learning; energy efficiency that will cut costs and provide environmental benefits; simpler grade configurations so that there are fewer student transitions; and school sites and services better matched to where children live.
"BuildBPS is an incredible opportunity, the dawn of a new era of school building in Boston," Walsh says. "But it will require some change to the status quo. That may present a challenge. Generations of struggle for equity in urban schools have left trust gaps."
Walsh also is seeking to make free prekindergarten available to all 4-year-olds in the district. Video of the State of the City Address (The actual speech begins at the 52-minute mark):