Marty believes great schools grow big dreams–and help them come true. His vision is for every child, in every neighborhood, to receive a world-class education that meets their needs from birth to college and career. That’s why he’s made improving Boston’s schools–together, as a united community of students, families, and educators–his top priority.
While there’s plenty of work left to do, the results so far are clear. The Boston Public Schools has more Level 1 and Level 2 schools (the state’s top performance ratings) than ever before and a high school graduation rate that’s at an all-time high. Learn more, here.
- Investing in our children. The latest budget is the largest in BPS history, representing a projected $50 million increase since last year, and a $154 million increase since Mayor Walsh took office in 2014 despite declining state and federal aid.
- Expanding access to high-quality, full-day pre-kindergarten. Nearly 3,000 4-year-olds attended pre-kindergarten this year, 725 more than when Mayor Walsh took office.
- Extending the school day. Before Marty took office, many Boston schools had the shortest school day in the country. He ended that, by securing more learning time for all the schools that needed it, giving 23,000 students 120 more hours of learning time every year, or the equivalent of 20 additional days in class.
- Providing young people free community college and a pathway to free 4-year degree. Under Marty’s leadership, Boston high school graduates from low-income families may now attend Bunker Hill, Roxbury, and Mass Bay Community Colleges with zero tuition and fees. In addition, students in this program can continue their education tuition-free at state colleges via the Boston Bridge.
- Children’s savings accounts. Marty created Boston Saves to help families start and build savings accounts for college and career training. Research shows that having these accounts increases the likelihood a child will attend and complete college.
- Supporting early childhood development. The Mayor’s Education Cabinet joined the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard and the Black Philanthropy Fund to found The Boston Basics, a program supporting parents and caregivers of children in the first three years of life.
- Increasing private sector support and engagement in our schools. Created InvestBPS, a simple online gateway for businesses and institutions to offer help to our schools. Created an Office of External Affairs in the Boston Public Schools to grow external funding and innovate engagement strategies.
- Strengthening special education. Mayor Walsh has increased special education funding by 21.5% since taking office, including increases in inclusion classrooms and in therapists for students on the autism spectrum. Currently nearly one quarter of the BPS budget is allocated to Special Educational services, for a total of $238 million.
- Supporting English Language Learners and embracing linguistic and cultural diversity. Mayor Walsh increased investments in Sheltered English Immersion classrooms and supported groundbreaking dual-language schools such as the Margarita Muniz Academy in Jamaica Plain. This year Mayor Walsh and BPS created the nation’s first-ever dual-language program for Haitian Creole, at the Mattapan Early Elementary School.
- Supporting vulnerable students. Under Mayor Walsh, BPS has increased support for students who experience trauma and increased investment in Social and Emotional Learning for all students. In addition, $1.2 million was added this school year to provide new supports for students experiencing homelessness.
- Invest $1 Billion in Boston’s school facilities over the next 10 years. BuildBPS is Mayor Walsh’s community-driven plan for turning Boston’s aging school buildings into 21st-century learning spaces. Launched this year, this capital investment doubles recent school building investments. Learn more, here.
- Achieve universal access to free, high-quality universal pre-kindergarten. Mayor Walsh has filed state legislation that would direct a portion of the tourism taxes collected in Boston to funding high quality universal pre-kindergarten.
- Advocate for state education financing reform. Mayor Walsh has made it clear that an outdated state education aid system is shortchanging Boston. He is working with state legislators to reform both the Chapter 70 state aid formula and charter school reimbursement.
- Boston Public Schools financial reform. The Mayor has increased funding to schools, while also supporting Superintendent Tommy Chang and his team’s Long-Term Financial Plan to set BPS on more solid fiscal footing and unlock more resources for classrooms. Transportation is a large funding area where reforms are already moving forward.
- Provide better nutrition in school. BPS recently chose a new food vendor, known for providing fresh, healthy meals, for the 2017-18 school year.
- Cross-sector collaboration. Marty believes that Boston has the best district, charter, and parochial schools of any city in the nation–and they will only get stronger if they work together and learn from each other. He’ll continue to support the Boston Compact as a platform for building relationships and sharing ideas that work.