Schools

Report: Over 15 Boston school administrators were working without licenses

Some lacked licenses for years, according to The Boston Globe.

David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe, File
BPS Licenses

Until recently, over 15 Boston Public Schools administrators lacked the proper state licenses for their positions, according to a new Boston Globe report.

Some are now in the process of obtaining the necessary state certifications, while others only got them after the newspaper began raising questions, the Globe reports.

The district’s chief financial officer, Nathan Kuder, who oversees its $1.3 billion budget, for instance, recently applied for his license. Kuder is the most senior official working without a license, according to the newspaper.

Certain personnel have reportedly been on the job for years without licensure.

The discovery comes on the heels of Globe reporting earlier this month that found Superintendent Brenda Cassellius’s own state license had lapsed and that Cassellius — who moved to Boston from Minnesota in 2019 — never took the Massachusetts certification exams. (State officials ultimately extended her temporary license, and Cassellius took the exams this month.)

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Jonathan Palumbo, a district spokesperson, told the Globe the school system was not aware in many cases that some positions required licensure under Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education standards.

In response, the district will now establish a new position in its personnel department whose only responsibility will be to oversee licensure of employees, Palumbo told the newspaper.

“Boston Public Schools (BPS) is working to ensure all members of the Superintendent’s executive team possess the appropriate licenses for their positions,” Palumbo said in a statement. “We remain in contact with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to confirm our understanding of the requirements related to positions and to action-plan next steps.”

According to the Globe, the state licenses are necessary to confirm teachers and administrators possess the qualifications and basic skills required for their jobs.

The report, published Wednesday, says the newspaper found “numerous central office administrators as well as school principals who either don’t have the proper licenses or obtained them later than they should have.”

“A few, including chief of schools Corey Harris and interim chief of support services Neva Coakley-Grice only recently applied for licenses,” the Globe reported.

Administrators and principals identified by the newspaper as having license issues either declined to comment or did not respond to requests for interviews, according to the news outlet.

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Read the full Boston Globe report.

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