Updated Nov. 28, 3:52 p.m.
The Boston Public School system has been struggling for decades with high leadership turnaround and low-performing schools, challenges that have families of color heading out the door.
One such parent, Latoya Gayle, has taken two of her four children out of Boston Public Schools and into charter schools. Gayle said she hasn't seen much change in the school system between her oldest child, who is in college, and her son who is currently in second grade.
"Change takes time but whose time? My kids don't have that time and I don't have that time so I'm not going to waste it," Gayle said on Greater Boston. Enrollment at BPS has dropped in recent years, especially among Black students. A recent Boston Globe report showed that 15,000 Black students have left BPS in the past 20 years.
Gayle said the school system is under-resourced in terms of money and staff.
Jay Blitzman, interim executive director of Mass Advocates for Children, agreed with Gayle about resources. He said instability with BPS superintendents also contributed to the situation. In the past 10 years, there have been seven different BPS superintendents or interim superintendents.
"Boston students, mostly students of color, attend schools in highly segregated neighborhoods," Blitzman said. He added that more affordable housing would keep middle class families around.
In a statement to GBH News, BPS Superintendent Mary Skipper underscored the district’s commitment to supporting its students of color, which make up the majority of the BPS student body, and its goal of working with the city to address structural issues like housing.
“While it is true that the Black population is declining, as is our enrollment rate, that does not change our core focus. We are resolute in our mission and we are committed to addressing our structural issues, including the quality of our school buildings through the Green New Deal initiatives, and offering equitable access to opportunities for all of our students,” Skipper said.
Watch: Boston schools showing little improvement as Black student enrollment plummets
Editor's note: The web version of this story has been updated to include Mary Skipper's statement.