Sunday, October 5, 2014

Lockers? Letter to the Mayor #2

BPS climate survey to parents, 2014
Dear Mayor Walsh,

I read in the paper that the plan for a building for the Boston Arts Academy has ended. That is disappointing. I also read that you recently hired a chief of Arts & Culture for the city of Boston. 
Is the new chief aware that:
  • The only public performing arts high school in Boston does not even have an auditorium? .
  • 93% of the core academic classrooms  and 90% of the arts spaces do not meet Mass. School Building  Authority (MSBA) regulations for classroom/learning space

The mayor's office could take positive steps to show that Boston cares about public arts education.  You could visit Boston Arts Academy in person and meet with the students and teachers and see the amazing things they are achieving against all odds.

Even better, the mayor's office could make one phone call this week to the Boston Public Schools that could change the tone of this decades-old discussion going forward.

Could you call up BPS, an office under your budget, and ask them to send  BAA some lockers?

 That's right - lockers. Almost 25% of  BAA students, teenagers who take long public transportation rides from every neighborhood in Boston in all kinds of weather and traffic, arrive with not only books, but musical instruments, art supplies, dance shoes and clothing every day,  and have no safe place to store them.

What kind of message does this send to Boston students when they arrive at school each day, and walk past a major sports arena with lots of amenities and then, have nowhere to store their wet coats, books, and heavy arts supplies?

Used lockers are only $55 each so for less then $6000 the city could greatly improve the lives of BAA students and show that Boston is seriously committed to arts education for a diverse group of students that represent every neighborhood.

Thank you for your thoughts on this issue,

Sincerely yours,

Lisa Link
Parent of a BAA senior 

** the rumor is that BPS wants BAA to fundraise for the lockers, that is unjust, a locker for each child is the bare minimum that the city/BPS should provide no matter what building they are in. We vote and pay taxes and would like to see BPS do the right thing here. 

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