Boston school endorse reforms

December 16, 2010

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BOSTON—The Boston School Committee has approved plans intended to plug a projected $63 million budget deficit over the next fiscal year and improve the quality of academic programs.

The Redesign and Reinvest proposals endorsed Wednesday night are part of Superintendent Carol Johnson's efforts to eliminate budget and performance gaps.

The plan include closing nine schools, merging eight others into four, creating two new charter schools and one innovation school.

It also calls for restructuring the contract with the Boston Teachers Union to extend the school day, launch a teacher evaluation system tied to performance and link salaries and benefits to student results.

The reforms seek to trim massive daily transportation costs and fill 5,600 empty seats that cost $20 million spent annually.

The changes will begin next year. Boston's 135 public schools have 56,000 students.