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Boston District Takes Drastic Measures, Will Close And Merge Schools

By Jonathan Elias, WBZ-TV
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Boston Public Schools
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BOSTON (CBS) – If drastic times call for drastic measures then tonight’s Boston Public School Committee meeting tonight spelled out both.

The superintendent said the economy is so bad it is forcing her to introduce a plan the would close nine schools and merge others.

“There are not other options for us” Superintendent Dr. Carol Johnson told the crowd.  This was a public hearing to let parents know the plan, and rather than give them a chance to vent their frustration about this proposal they were asked to write their uestions down on cards that would be read aloud to the committee.

WBZ-TV’s Jonathan Elias reports from Boston.

That worked until some parents yelled their questions out of frustration.

“Why are you closing our kids schools down, this makes no sense” said one angry mother.

One father from the back of the auditorium yelled, “this is bogus”.

The Superintendent says she is trying to make up what will be a $61 million dollar shortfall if they continue on the current course without making any changes.  In addition, she says they’ve had 5,600 empty classroom seats in the last year so there is wasted space, and consolidation will save a lot of money.

Another public hearing is scheduled next week, and then the committee is expected to vote on the plan December 15th.  

WBZ Radio’s Karen Twomey talks to Superintendent Carol Johnson

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