Many in Boston Area May Be Forced to Switch Schools

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Proposed changes to the way Boston assigns students could force thousands of children already attending schools to move to new ones in two years, stirring unease among parents and prompting officials to quickly seek a remedy.

Many parents say they are filled with dread at the prospect of having to go through the public school lottery again after growing comfortable with their schools, which often were not their top choices. “That’s what keeps me up at night,” said Kristin Barrali, of Roslindale, whose two children could lose access to their current school, Mendell Elementary in Roxbury, under the proposed changes. “I think kids should be put first in this decision,” Barrali said. “I know money is an issue, but it’s not clear what the cost savings is.”

Initially, school officials said it might be necessary to reshuffle students among dozens of elementary, middle, and K-8 schools across Boston so the city can save money on busing costs. The goal of each of the five student-assignment proposals unveiled last week is to have students attending schools closer to their homes.

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