BOSTON — Despite objections from a handful of Boston city councilors, 7th and 8th grade students will be taking public transportation instead of school buses to school next year.
The measure was part of Mayor Martin Walsh’s first schools budget, which the City Council passed Wednesday on a 7-6 vote. Walsh says the move will save the city $8 million.
Councilor Tito Jackson was among the those who opposed the move. He said the city shouldn’t try to save money by putting students at risk.
“My question to this council, to the members of this council is, is this plan a morally sound plan?” Jackson said.
Councilor Frank Baker, who supported the budget, said cutting transportation was the easiest fix.
“If [$8 million] has to be taken from operations within district schools, I think there’ll be more difficult cuts,” Baker said.
Mayor Walsh says many students are already riding the T.
“This is not precedent-setting. This is already happening in other cities around the country,” Walsh said. “And a lot of our 7th and 8th graders are going to and from school, and going to and from the Boys and Girls Club, and going to and from different things in the neighborhoods.”
The new policy will go into effect at the beginning of the 2014 academic year.