About the 2019 City Council Candidate Questionnaire

The Boston Coalition for Education Equity is a collaboration between civil rights, education, and community organizations committed to dismantling education inequity in Boston. BCEE advocates for enactment of governance structures, policies and resource levels that are critically important for equitable public education in Boston. Our member orgs include: Boston Branch of the NAACP, Lawyers for Civil Rights, QUEST, BEJA, Boston Network for Black Student Achievement, St. Stephen's Youth Programs, Citizens for Public Schools, Downtown Progressives, JP Progressives, Progressive West Roxbury/Roslindale, Healthy Food for Boston Schools Action Network, and SURJ.

WHY is BCEE focusing on the City Council race?
1. BCEE believes in the power of well-informed citizens to advocate for education policies that reflect their values.
2. This year’s city council election could mark a major turning point for those seeking change in BPS.

With so many seats open and such a broad array of candidates, the 2019 elections present a unique opportunity to make public education in Boston more effective and more equitable. So, it’s more important than ever that we know where the people we elect to represent us on City Council will stand on education issues. 

WHAT is the role of Boston City Councilors in BPS? 
City Councilors, collectively and individually have the ability to improve BPS and make it more equitable. On issues ranging from school funding to transportation to special ed, ELL and exam school access, City Councilors are a critical source of accountability for the Mayor, the Superintendent and the School Committee. 

In addition to using their public platform to draw attention to issues in BPS and advocate for changes on behalf of their constituents, City Councilors can: 
Vote to approve school budgets, or not to approve them if funding is inadequate or inequitable.
Hold hearings to investigate BPS issues and hold decision-makers accountable to the public.
Play a key role in revising the city charter to update BPS’ decades-old governance system. 

HOW is BCEE getting involved in the 2019 City Council Race?
To empower Boston’s education voters, BCEE will develop and distribute a Candidate Questionnaire to all candidates for District and At-Large City Council seats on the ballot in Boston in 2019. 

We’ll collect and share candidates’ positions regarding public education governance, policies and funding and share them with the public on our website and on social media. 

WHAT’s in it for Boston’s Education Voters? 
The BCEE questionnaire will collect 2019 city council candidates’ positions regarding public education governance, policies and funding and share them with the public, so that: 
Citizens will better understand candidates’ and elected officials’ positions on the critical issue of public education
Candidates’ responses will help voters understand how well-aligned candidates’ positions, priorities, and commitments are with their own
Clear, published positions will enable public accountability for City Councilors who have to power to enact structural changes to BPS and vote on funding and resource levels for BPS
Citizens and constituents can contact elected officials based upon whether and how they choose to respond, and how they demonstrate commitment to education equity in Boston

WHY should City Council Candidates answer?
Boston is a city with a thriving community of education activists--and education activists vote! In citywide and district elections many voters consider a candidate’s position on education issues one of their top factors in deciding how to vote. Yet we often don’t have the opportunity to vet our candidates in sufficient depth on education issues. 

Families of BPS students and education activists made their voices heard in this year’s budgeting and superintendent selection process, and will no longer be willing to accept business as usual on education from those who can act to effect improvement for all our children. 

More info on our questionnaire process is available on this FAQs page.

HOW can I get involved? 
Questionnaires are an effective tool for informing voters on candidates' views on education and fostering discussion on education equity issues facing Boston. They’re also a good way to let candidates know what issues are of concern to education voters in Boston. This is where we’d like your help! Please use this form to send us your questions.

WHAT happens after questionnaire results are released? 
To learn even more about the candidates, membership of BCEE will review all questionnaires completed by the deadline to select candidates who make it through to the final election to participate in a series of Facebook Live conversations from September 25th through October 25th

WHEN is all of this happening?

BCEE questionnaire process announced & public questions solicited on social media (Week of July 29)
Questionnaire sent to Candidates (August 8, 2019)
Deadline for questionnaires to be returned (August 28, 2019)
Questionnaire results posted, press release sent (September 9, 2019)
Facebook Live Interviews (September 25th through October 25th, 2019)