Boston school officials said Friday they would reconsider previously announced changes to start and end times for schools for the fall 2018 in response the backlash from parents, civil rights groups, and other city leaders.
BPS Superintendent Tommy Chang said that while the district believes the changes — having more high school students start after 8 a.m. and elementary students dismissed before 4 p.m. — to be a “sound” policy, the schedules will be finalized in mid-January to “allow the district to work through issues that have been shared.”
The Boston NAACP, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, and the East Boston Ecumenical Community Council published a letter Thursday saying the proposed changes to the start and end times would disproportionately affect children of color.
“It is shameful that BPS turned an opportunity to do right by our high school students into a justification for unrelated cuts that harm our youngest children,” the groups charged.
While the organizations applauded the plan to have high schools start later in the morning, they said the earlier start and dismissal time for elementary students would be a burden on families of color.
“This ignores the fact that parents of color are disproportionately in lower-wage jobs, and are less likely to have the flexibility needed to build their schedules around a school day that ends at 1:15 or 1:55, let alone pay for any resulting need in after school care,” the groups wrote.
The district says there will be 10 meetings held the week before the Christmas holiday to discuss the issue.
Read the full letter from the NAACP, NACCP, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, and EBECC below: