In his bid for Mayor of Boston, Rep. Jon Santiago unveiled his education plan to create a more equitable Boston Public School system last Thursday, June 17.
“I want every Boston student to have that same opportunity, regardless of where they live,” said Rep. Santiago, who credits a STEM educational opportunity for putting him on the path to public service and led him to a career as an ER physician, as well as State Representative for the 9th Suffolk District representing the South End, Roxbury, Back Bay, and Fenway. “Our schools represent the future of our city and our economy, and each school should provide our kids with a quality education, opportunities to grow and achieve their fullest potential.”
Rep. Santiago’s plan “focuses on addressing the achievement gap by targeting the opportunity gap through universal pre-k, early college programs, retaining innovative school leaders, and guaranteeing staffing ratios,” according to a press release from his campaign, and “also emphasizes parent engagement by creating a Parent Leadership Academy, increasing the role of the Citywide Parent Council, and incentivizing parent engagement.”
Pioneering BPS initiatives that Rep. Santiago advocates for in the plan include offering universal pre-school to all residents of the city; creating an optional “13th year” for BPS focusing on college prep, with opportunities to obtain college credit, and to explore career pathways; and opening a new life sciences and healthcare vocational school, among other ideas.
Besides “leveraging Boston’s world-class institutions to create more robust partnerships with BPS,” Santiago also calls for a fully elected School Committee to increase accountability in BPS – something that sets him apart from other candidates in the mayoral race.
Rep. Santiago also proposes taking steps to help counteract the learning loss during the pandemic by allowing students to retake a grade, expanding summer enrichment opportunities, and providing free or affordable tutoring sessions for students.
Moreover, Rep. Santiago’s plan focuses on increasing resources for English Language Learners and special education students, according to the press release, “through promoting cultural competence and language access, implementing the Seal of Biliteracy, expanding dual-language schools, doubling down on inclusion, and addressing the COVID loss of services.”
Visit https://www.jonsantiago.org/equitable-education-for-all/ to read Rep. Santiago’s full education plan.