Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius on Wednesday proposed a budget of $1.3 billion for fiscal 2023, which would be the largest grant to BPS ever provided by the city.
The budget includes a $40 million increase this year, part of which will be used to ensure there is at least one school counselor for every 150 students and one school psychologist for every 500.
“This money has been used very strategically to invest directly in our students and to provide stability at a time when we know our students have been experiencing tremendous uncertainty and disruption in their learning,” Cassellius said. “And that affects their results.”
The district faces a multi-year challenge to emerge from the COVID pandemic.
One issue is a glaring racial disparity in the percentage of students who meet the state’s MassCore graduation requirements to align high school coursework with college and staff expectations.
According to the district, just over 37% of all BPS students have graduated from MassCore. By race, 47.3% of Asian students, 33.6% of Black students, 31.9% of Latino students, and 53.2% of White students have graduated from MassCore.
The results for economically disadvantaged students, English learners, and students with disabilities were even more worrisome, with only 31.5%, 20.9%, and 21% of these students graduating from MassCore, respectively.
As such, the district also plans to build two new schools — one in Roxbury and one in Dorchester — and would spend $22 million on facilities and $4.7 million on librarians as the BPS plans a five-year rollout of a library in every school starts .
Cassellius is scheduled to present the budget proposal to the school board tonight.