Wednesday, April 9, 2014

This BPS bake sale press release is a thing of beauty I will run it here in its entirety; the bake sale raised $1250. And props to both Superintendent McDonough and BPS CFO Don Kennedy for showing up!

*Parents Organize $61 Million Bake Sale To Take Place at City Hall Plaza on April 8th, 4-6pm to Bridge FY14-15 Boston Public Schools Deficit*

*Group hopes to raise $508,333 per minute to offset devastating Boston Public School budget cuts*

March 31, 2014.

After spending the last six weeks trying - and failing - to find the Boston school system's secret money vault, parents have now arrived upon a Plan B to help address the daunting $61M deficit facing the Boston Public Schools (BPS).On Monday, BPS parents from dozens of schools from all across Boston announced that they will deploy a tool that has served them well in past attempts to mitigate education cuts: a bake sale.

*The Bake Sale to raise $61M will be held on City Hall Plaza TuesdayApril 8th, from 4-6 pm*. The tens of millions of dollars projected to be raised during the two-hour event will be donated to Boston Public Schools.

"Plan B will work," explained Karen Oil, a parent from the Young Achievers school in Mattapan. "BPS parents will draw on our years of experience selling cupcakes and muffins in bake sales to help the Mayor and the Legislature close the huge deficit caused by the loss of federal and state funding, cost increases, and enrollment miscalculations."

"Our small school faces dire instructional losses, as well as deep cuts to our essential support programs," Roxbury resident and Mendell School parent Ellen Pierce noted. "When good, successful schools like ours, and many others, become neglected, it's the kids in those schools who suffer the consequences." Pierce continued, "There are many things parents have come to appreciate about the BPS in recent years, and it's such a shame that so much good work will be undone by these cuts. So we thought we'd help. We think we can sell enough cupcakes to help close that $61M gap. And muffins as well!"

"We are so happy city, state, and federal politicians are searching for the money right now - looking under sofa cushions and pointing to one another,hoping someone didn't leave it in their car," said Heshan Berents-Weeramuni, a parent at the Curley K-8 School in Jamaica Plain which is losing 13.5 positions. "Unfortunately, they haven't found it all yet. State officials, for example, have managed to find only 63 percent of the charter school reimbursements they owe the Commonwealth's public school kids. Some have offered to check their lunch boxes to see if they have more Chapter 70 aid and Circuit Breaker funding too."

"Next year, state funding will only account for 11 percent of BPS' total budget (down from 31 percent in FY99). So together with federal losses, cost increases, and the BPS' enrollment miscalculations from last year (and despite the Mayor's 4 percent increase), we have a huge deficit," added Oil. "We all care deeply about the great schools that 75 percent of all Boston children attend today. And so we thought we would help find some money too."

The Curley, Mendell, Philbrick, Young Achievers, Lyndon, Roosevelt, Bates, BTU School, Mary Lyon, Hurley, Roger Clap, Winship, and Irving, are among some of the 63 schools that, on paper, face large cuts next year. When cost increases, as well as federal and state cuts, are factored in, that figure is likely closer to 90 schools. "So we thought we'd help the City and the Commonwealth out by selling $61M worth of cupcakes. That's a lot  of cupcakes to sell, but we think we can do it," added Berents-Weeramuni. "Muffins too. I mean who doesn't like muffins, right?"

Did we mention we'll have muffins?

After BPS parents raise the necessary $61M this coming Tuesday, April 8th from 4-6 pm on City Hall Plaza, they plan to head into City Hall itself to view the BPS Student Art Show, which runs until 7:30 pm. "The art show is just one example of the amazing things that happen at Boston Public Schools every day," said Pierce. "At the end of the day, that's what it is all about."

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