As a Boston Public Schools parent, Michelle knows personally how our schools are at the very heart of our community and our future in the City of Boston. In this moment, school communities are facing unprecedented upheaval and uncertainty. Boston students, teachers, and families deserve a system that is responsive to their needs and provides the type of support that enables everyone to succeed. Our system should be structured and led by anti-racist policies that undermine structural inequities rather than perpetuate them.
Policy PrioritiesHow We Will Lead
Planning for a safe reopening and equitable recovery from COVID-19 in every school
In the midst of a global pandemic, our students, educators, and families have had to navigate massive shifts in education. As we move forward, we can’t afford to focus exclusively on reopening schools. We must take a long-term approach to an equitable recovery by listening to our experts - educators, students, and families. We need to combat the effects of the pandemic that occurred during school closures - learning loss, increased incidence of trauma, and adverse mental health effects, among others - and work to create long-term solutions in our schools. Read Michelle’s community-driven report on planning reopening and equitable recovery from COVID.
Valuing and trusting our educators
Teachers are experts and professionals. To provide the best possible education to our children, we must listen to and empower our educators to use their expertise in planning and in practice. We need to ensure meaningful opportunities for ongoing professional development, and offer appropriate support to teachers navigating during and after the pandemic.
Creating safe, inclusive, and anti-racist schools
At the same time our communities are grappling with COVID-19, we’re also in the midst of a reckoning with a long history of racial injustice. In line with this movement, we must eliminate school segregation and practices that maintain inequities in our communities. This means making our schools safe for all students by embedding anti-racism in the fabric of our schools, demilitarizing our schools, addressing the school-to-prison pipeline, and eliminating surveillance of undocumented students.
Investing equitably in schools and students for mental and behavioral health
If we want to serve our students equitably, we need to take a whole child approach to meeting student needs. This means addressing mental health as well as physical well-being. All students in BPS should be able to access guidance and care from a well-staffed support team of nurses, mental health counselors, and guidance counselors.
Supporting ALL learners and their families
Prior to the pandemic, we knew that Boston had a long way to go in serving students equitably. In particular, the state’s review of BPS found that services for English language learners and students with disabilities were in complete disarray. We must tackle the barriers facing these populations of learners head on, ensuring equitable access to high quality curriculum and instruction while differentiating student supports.
Investing in healthy and sustainable school facilities
As community hubs, our schools are crucial sites of learning and development. Teachers and students alike deserve access to environments conducive to teaching and learning. Particularly during a global pandemic, we need to invest in schools’ longevity and health by updating ventilation systems, prioritizing cleanliness, and modernizing infrastructure.
Adopting and funding a community schools model
Our schools need to support students within their home and neighborhood context, creating partnerships to combat underlying needs like food and housing insecurity. To enable every child in the city to receive a well-rounded education, the City should partner with local nonprofits and cultural institutions to implement robust arts and culture programming in the Boston Public Schools.
Expanding vocational education opportunities
In a city as diverse as Boston, we must recognize the necessity of providing high quality vocational education opportunities to students. In order to make good-paying jobs more accessible, we need to create more direct pipelines to opportunities in trades and other industries that do not require a four-year degree.
Guaranteeing universal early education and childcare
All children should have the chance to get a head start through universal affordable, high-quality early education. This includes increasing access to community-based and on-site workplace child care.
Ensuring safe, reliable transportation for our students
Michelle is fighting for transportation policies built on economic, racial, and climate justice, from dedicated bus lanes, to pedestrian safety, fare-free transit, safe cycling infrastructure, and easing traffic congestion. In order to promote healthy, connected communities and ensure that every student can safety access educational opportunities, we need to make our streets safer and invest in transportation as a public good.
Michelle's RecordWhat We've Done Together So Far
Held a hearing on improving access to vocational education, which would increase access to good jobs that do not require a four-year degree.
Held a community panel and townhall to facilitate a collaborative planning process around a safe K-12 reopening and equitable recovery from COVID, centering the voices of students, teachers, parents, and other community members.
Submitted a letter to the BPS School Committee regarding school reopening during the pandemic, sharing community-generated solutions and sharing our recommendations for a safe reopening and equitable recovery.