The education commissioner of Mass. is “extremely concerned” about the Boston school committee
Massachusetts Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley is “extremely concerned” about the recent Boston school board reshuffle – and it could temporarily freeze federal funding for the district as a result, he said Tuesday.
Former committee chair Alexandra Oliver-Dávila and member Lorna Rivera resigned earlier this month after a racist text message exchange the two had during public testimony at a meeting of October was made public.
Asked at a board meeting on Tuesday about what his staff think about what happened, Riley said he was “extremely concerned about what had happened on this school committee.” , according to The Boston Globe.
“As a state, we have a responsibility to sort of monitor what’s going on there,” he added. “And the fact that there’s almost half a billion dollars, I think it’s 430 million dollars, coming into ESSER [Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund] funding makes me nervous about what’s going on in Boston.
According to the newspaper, Riley’s staff will explore “the possibility of temporarily freezing” the second and third rounds of aid funding that Boston is expected to receive, he said.
Riley wants the board to be “stabilized,” he said, although he added that the current instability does not reflect the administration of interim mayor Kim Janey.
“I think it’s fair to wonder how such a small board could make such an important decision [for] this unique opportunity for children, ”said Riley.
The committee’s latest resignations came months after former chairman Michael Loconto resigned over hearing the seemingly mocking names of people who registered to speak at the same October meeting.
Stay up to date on all the latest news from Boston.com