Boston Teachers Union rallies against receivership threat

BOSTON — Members of the Boston Teachers Union and community allies gathered Tuesday to rally against placing Boston Public Schools into a state receivership.

Receivership means state Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley can appoint a new leader, called a receiver, “who can be granted authority up to and including the powers of the superintendent and school committee.”

Protesters gathered outside the John W. McCormick Building at 1 Ashburton Place, just one day after the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released a report that offered a scathing review of trouble inside the city’s schools.

While the rally took place, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu attended a meeting where she told the Massachusetts told Board of Elementary and Secondary Education that she opposes a state takeover.

Union members have expressed concerns about job security, saying popular programs could be dismantled without consulting students and parents if a receivership is put in place.

“We have been fighting for changes in BPS that we know need to happen,” Teachers Union President Jessica Tang told reporters. “The state intervention strategy doesn’t work. We strongly believe the new mayor should have an opportunity to address them.”

In the report, DESE stated that Boston schools are “dysfunctional,” “in need of immediate improvement,” and providing “inadequate services” to students, among other issues.

Boston Superintendent Brenda Cassellius is slated to step down at the end of the school year. The district will then appoint its fifth superintendent in the last 10 years.

“That receivership would be counterproductive in light of this transition and superintendent hiring process that’s now underway,” Wu said.

Riley has indicated that receivership could be an “appropriate intervention.” Wu noted that the city will request a hearing if Riley opts to move forward with a receivership.

Schools in Lawrence, Southbridge, and Holyoke are currently under receivership.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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