Students walk over closures

Lewis Crespo and about 50 of his classmates walked out of Hyde Park High yesterday morning to take a 30-minute T ride to Boston Public Schools’ downtown headquarters.

“[Our teachers] didn’t say anything ‘cause we gotta save our schools,” the sophomore said while protesting a plan to shutter nine BPS schools. “Everybody is supporting us; the community, everybody.”

Earlier in the morning, Mayor Thomas Menino rubber-stamped the closure plan for the first time publicly. Making his case for the measure that would also merge eight schools into four, Menino noted BPS faces a $63 million increases in costs next year that could grow to $90 million. He said one out of every eight dollars in BPS’ budget is spent on health insurance.

“To make our plan work, we have to make some hard decisions,” Menino told the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. “Currently, there are 5,600 empty seats in our school district. These empty seats are costing taxpayers over $20 million a year.”

Kids ask: Where will we go now?

Even though the School Committee will vote on the proposal tonight, Crespo and his classmates aren’t done fighting.  

“Without that school, we would go to jail,” Crespo said. “They close the school they need to build another jail for us.” 


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