Thank you to Reva for editing the letter and giving it a great ending!
January 23, 2009
Representative Stephen Lynch
221 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-2109
Dear Representative Lynch:
I am a Boston resident who is writing to express outrage at the proposed budget cuts to the Boston Public Schools. My oldest child is an eighth grader who attends the Boston Latin School, which is the city’s largest high school with 2,440 students. 20% of Boston public high school students attend this school! It already has the burden of the highest student-teacher ratio of all the high schools – 27 kids: 1 teacher.
The Boston Public School formula states that a school of Boston Latin's size needs 132 teachers; the proposed budget would cut it to only 99. It will become dysfunctional at that staffing level, eliminating the quality of core academics, and completely dismantling all the programs which distinguish it as an excellent public school. Class sizes would reach 30 or more students.
It is disturbing that the city and state are punishing the very students who are making the “right choices.” These are the students who wake up at 6:00 am to be at school promptly at 7:40 am after taking the MBTA buses through Boston traffic, and then returning home to do hours of homework each night.
As a city parent, I was confident that my child had as good a chance as any suburban child to receive a very high quality education, due to the challenging academic standards at this Boston public school. The budget for next year would eliminate this level playing field, once again underlining that good public education can only be found in rich suburbs. We should not stand by to allow this inequity in the United States, as ‘children are left behind’ in our cities.
Congressman, I applaud your efforts to ensure that due diligence is done on the stimulus package, but I need to see your support for the education component. We must send the message that excellence in public schools is our national goal, and will be vigorously supported by the federal government. I am anxious to watch your support on a national and local level to bring economic stimulus funds to our Boston public schools, and to stop these budget cuts.