Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The BPS Budget and Boston's Mayor Walsh’s Campaign of Misinformation

For the last five months, since January, Mayor Walsh and his office have been making and repeating incredibly inaccurate and misleading statements to the media concerning Boston Public School’s FY17 budget. As a parent of a BPS student that’s advocating for adequate funding for our public schools, I’m astounded by the half truths and completely false information being put forth by the Mayor and his office.

The statements seem to be designed to justify the Mayor’s funding increase to BPS, an increase that falls around $30 million short of providing BPS with the resources necessary to provide the same level of service to students that it provided this year. The $30 million shortfall is compounded by the fact that it’s the third shortfall in three years. Every year that Mayor Walsh has been in office, BPS schools have had to make major cuts in what they’re able to provide for our children. (When I (we) say “cuts”, this is what we're talking about)

The first misleading statement the Mayor makes is that BPS will be receiving “an additional $13.5 million dollars". While that’s true, the problem is that everyone, the press included, is failing to ask what that really means? Is that a lot? It sounds like a lot. It’s not. It’s an increase of 1.35%. Mayor Walsh’s proposed municipal Boston budget for next year has an overall increase of 4%. If every city department’s budget were to go up equally, BPS was shorted by $27 million dollars. In other words, if BPS were given the same 4% increase the overall city budget received, BPS would be receiving a $40.5 million increase, not the Mayors $13.5 million. The Mayor's implication that he's being generous to BPS 

The Mayor also likes to state that “the BPS budget has gone up nearly $90 million dollars since he took office”. Well, okay, the thing is that's a perfectly normal average of 2.9% per budget. The Mayor is not only not being generous, he's actually underfunding the schools, habitually, year after year.

The second constantly repeated Mayor Walsh statement: “BPS has 93,000 seats for 57,000 students”. The 93,000 seats number comes from the “McKinsey Report”, a $660,000 report that the Mayor commissioned and allowed BPS the privilege of paying for. The McKinsey report has been questioned, challenged, quashed, and discredited a number of times, in a number of ways, by a number of people, including the chair of the Boston School Committee (publicly) and the Mayor’s own Chief of Economic Development (privately).

In 2013 BPS produced it’s own capacity report and it stated that BPS was at 92% capacity and had 5000 empty seats, not the 35,000 seats the McKinsey Report claims. I would think that the huge variance between these two reports would have even Mayor Walsh questioning McKinsey, especially when it appears that McKinsey simply calculated the square footage of schools, including hallways and gymnasiums, and did some sort of “students per square foot” thing that never looked at the actual classroom space, or the number of SPED (special education) students per teacher/classroom, and they did that for 126 schools. An additional note: according to the Mayor's own “Boston 2030” plans, Boston’s population is projected to grow by 91,000 in the next 13 years. Chances are that in a few years BPS will need more capacity, not less. Regardless, the statement that BPS has the capacity to serve 93,000 students would appear to be 
but that hasn't stopped the mayor from repeating, it over and over again.

Third and Fourth: On April 13th, Boston’s CFO David Sweeney was on Radio Boston talking about the BPS budget. Within the first two minutes, Mr Sweeney made one misleading statement, and one completely false statement.

  • First: “Over time, as a portion of the cities overall spending, education has increased now to a full 40%”. That's true, but we're not talking about what the city is spending on “education”, we're talking about the BPS budget, which in the mayors proposed budget comes out to 34.6% of the cities overall spending. Boston’s CFO's misleading implication was off by 5.4%, or $160.4 million (which Boston must be paying out to privately operated Commonwealth Charter Schools, which are overseen by the state but Boston gets to pay for)

  • Second statement, referring how much money is being spent per BPS student: “They're provided with the highest per-pupil appropriation in the country”. Um, sorry, but that’s completely inaccurate. Look out your window. See Cambridge? Those students receive about $7,000 more - per student - than Boston’s students do, and that’s just the beginning of a long list of Massachusetts cities and towns that fund at higher levels than Boston. Many, enrolling students with much lower needs than Boston’s. Why do these cities and towns spend that much? Because they value education. Sweeney's statements... 

Fifth: “The BPS budget is over one billion dollars!”
(and... “The BPS budget is of 35% Boston’s municipal budget!”)

Yes, the BPS budget is over one billion dollars, but what does that mean? As large as that number is, it’s a number that’s without context. It has no meaning. A true assessment of the FY17 BPS budget is its percent of Boston’s total budget, of which BPS is taking 34.6%. Again, 34.6% sounds like an awful lot when it’s just thrown out there, but when you take a look at what percentage of budgets other Massachusetts cities and towns spend on education, 34.6% (even 40%) is at the bottom of the heap. Using 2011 numbers provided in a Pioneer Institute report (the only source I can find that breaks 348 Massachusetts municipal budgets down into percentages) 94.5% of municipalities spent a larger portion of their budget on K-12 education than Boston will on BPS next year. In 2011 the average municipality in Massachusetts spent 52% of their budget on education, and in 2011, Lexington, arguably the highest performing school district in the United States, spent 58% of its budget on K-12 education.

So, as far as the BPS budget being over one billion dollars, yes, that's true.
As far as that being some outrageous and unreasonable amount, absolutely
If a budget is truly a statement of values, somewhere around 94% of Massachusetts cities and towns value education more than Boston.

I don’t know what’s in the Mayor’s head. I don’t know what he’s up to but I do know that this campaign of misinformation is harming my daughter’s, and 57,000 other BPS children’s, chance at receiving a good education. For the Mayor to continually repeat misleading and untrue numbers, over and over, repeating the lies, is to me, unfathomable. The citizens, the press and the Boston City Council need to intervene and stop this incredibly harmful budget from being passed.

BPS needs to be level serviced - next year, and every year. We can’t balance budgets on the backs of children. Somehow, somewhere, out of a $2.97 billion dollar budget, there’s another $27 million dollars for BPS. And when that money is found it’s not to be used for new programing. We need to fund the programing we already have before we can add anything new, and that’s not easy for me to say.

To nearly level service, BPS needs a budget increase of 4%, the same as the overall budget increase of the city, not the 1.35% the Mayor has proposed. That's the increase our BPS public schools and our children need and deserve.

I’m asking you, the people of Boston, the Boston press and the Boston City Council, to do everything possible to get more funding for BPS, and by more, I mean $27 million dollars. The Mayor’s arguments are no more than fabrications and misdirection. For some unknown reason Mayor Walsh is willing to try and deceive the press and the public in order to consistently underfund our BPS schools. I’m asking you to have the courage speak up and call the mayor's office, call your city councilors, and demand that Mayor Walsh increase the BPS budget by 4%, and not the 1.35% he's proposed. Please. Help our children, Boston’s children, to receive the education that they deserve.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Written Testimony for the Joint Committee on Education, Concerning Bill H3928, “An Act to Allow Fair Access to Public Charter Schools”

Dear Joint Committee on Education:

I am the parent of a 3rd grader that attends a Boston Public School, the Ellis Mendell K-5 in Roxbury.

On Tuesday, February 23rd I attended a meeting of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. They were voting on approving some new charter schools and on the expansion of some others.

Tito Jackson, the Education chair of the Boston City Council, and Michael O'Neill, the chair of the Boston School Committee, both testified before BESE asking them not to add 1119 additional charter seats to Boston as the proposed seats would remove another $17 million from Boston Public Schools. The $17 million will be in addition to the $120 million BPS already sends to commonwealth charters.

People from Brockton were also testifying at the meeting. They were trying to prevent a new charter school from opening up. To me, Brockton sounded to be doing really well. It sounded like people are going to Brockton to study how they have turned their schools around. The people testifying said that if the charter school opened Brockton Public Schools would lose $8 million a year. They said that this would completely pull the rug out from under them and destroy everything they had worked so hard for.

BESE eventually deliberated. They even brought up the subject of “impact” and should they take that into consideration?

The following are some of Tracy Novick's notes from that discussion:

So I'm assuming that no one does an impact study? Really? Someone needs to do an impact study, because there's definitely impact.

As it stands now, the state can come into a district, one that's doing everything right, one that's doing great with what they have and tell them “we're putting a new school in to your district, we're going to make you fund it in addition to your existing school(s), and you have no say about it and there's nothing you can do about it.”

Am I wrong to think this is insane(?) to rip millions and millions of dollars away from existing district schools in the name of helping children?

What these policies are actually doing is hurting thousands of children's chances at receiving a good education by defunding existing schools. It's crazy. It's wrong, and it harms children.

I'm asking you to stop this. Please vote no on Bill H3928. We need legislation that takes into account the impact of forcing new schools into districts. No more imposed, unasked for, unwanted schools. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Separate and Unequal - Boston's Two School Systems

Originally a Facebook post, reprinted here with the author's permission.

After reading all the Charter school articles and comments and pushes for them, as a Boston Public School special education teacher I want to say my piece. I will preface it with the fact that a few of my friends have children in charter schools and they are excelling. The school is fully supporting their needs and it's been the best experience of their lives.

That's the glitz of it. It absolutely works for some families and I do not want to take away from that.


I teach at one of the poorest schools in the city. Highly SPED populated and ELL populated. 30-40% parent participation on a good day. 20%(give or take) living in foster care, group homes or distant relatives. These students biggest concerns are where they will sleep and/ or what they will eat more so than how they will prepare for the MCAS.

The first 20-30 minutes of each day I spend figuring out who is hungry, who hasn't slept, who experienced abuse the night before, who has drama with their family or friends and that is just the cusp. I then start the lesson with my special education students that are at all different levels and hope that they retain what I'm teaching despite the stress they have on them.

These kids wouldn't be allowed in the charter school. I realize I will get an influx of comments because I said "not allowed". Of course they may get in to the schools but they will not last. Behaviors and special needs are not prominent in those schools (yes they are there but no way as high in comparison with the public schools but we can agree to disagree).

Because of all this I am so overwhelmingly saddened by the budget cuts that are continuing to happen at our schools. I am saddened by the lack of support from the community and former students of Boston Public Schools. We need to fight. I need to fight. You need to fight. Even if you are for charter schools, realize that they aren't for everyone and certain populations NEED the public schools. I am a product of both catholic and public Boston schools.

The battle is so tiring. I will fight for my kids, our kids but I need help.

Lisa Bello Jonxs, BPS Teacher

Monday, February 15, 2016

FACT CHECKING the "Massachusetts Charter School Fact Check" Website

On Friday February 12th, Governor Charlie Baker joined many of the state’s charter school advocacy groups at a State House event where they rolled out a new “Fact Check” website about charter schools. 

I took a look at it and... I'm sorry, but the fact is - the information on the website is incredibly deceptive and incredibly inaccurate. If you can just bear with me for a few blog posts (this is #1) I'd like to pick the "facts" apart, item by item.

Massachusetts Charter School Fact #1
"Massachusetts Charter schools are Among the Highest Preforming Schools in the State."
 (Note:If you click on the images they will pop out. Then click the back arrow to get back)
Screenshot from the "Facts" website
And on the left of that screenshot you'll see:
"Boston's Three Brooke Charter Schools Outperformed Every Other School in Massachusetts" 
Yes, the Brooke schools test well, but there's a lot more to that statement than meets the eye, and that's a theme throughout the "facts" website.

I'd like to use the three Brooke schools as examples because 
  • I've already taken a hard look at them and how they operate.
  • According to the "facts" site they're the best schools in Massachusetts. 
First, let's look at the attrition of Brooke charter schools, and by attrition I mean following the population of a cohort through, year to year, and not the DESE definition of attrition: students that leave over the summer.   
(Note:If you click on the charts they will pop out. Then click the back arrow to get back)
The citations for all of the Brooke charts I'm using on this blog post can be found here.

It's safe to say that the cohort attrition (not the strange DESE attrition) of all of the Brooke charter schools is nearly 50% of a cohort, from the time the cohort enters, till the time they graduate, and that's actually par for the course for all of the charter high-schools in Boston.

There are reasons for this kind of population loss, and the reasons are disturbing.

Two of the three Brooks schools, the two that have been around the longest and have a little more data available on the DESE website, punish the children an extraordinary amount, but what I'd like to point out about these two is the amount of punishment the children with disabilities receive. The Brooke out of school suspensions for children with disabilities is the red column, the Mass state average is the orange column to the right of it.
(Note:If you click on the charts they will pop out. Then click the back arrow to get back)
If there were populations of students you wanted to get rid of, this would be a good way to do that. By repeatedly suspending a student, over and over, that student and that students parents lives become completely unmanageable, and the student will soon leave the school. 

Brooke charter school Mattapan isn't off the hook, their suspension rate is also crazy high, but the DESE site doesn't have a breakout number for children with disabilities. 

(Note:If you click on the charts they will pop out. Then click the back arrow to get back)

Something else that's really odd is the unbelievably low populations of English language learners in the three Brooke charter schools.

What I don't understand is: with a lottery entry system - that draws from the same population of children as Boston Public Schools - how is it possible that Brooke has so very, very few ELL's?

Brooke East Boston is the best of the three, but still averages less than half the population of English language learners as Boston Public Schools. East Boston is followed by Brooke Mattapan, that has an ELL population that's somewhere around one fifth of what BPS has.
(Note:If you click on the charts they will pop out. Then click the back arrow to get back)

Last but not least is Brook Charter School, Roslindale, which seems to be able to maintain a near zero ELL population. 
Can someone please explain to me how this is possible with a lottery entry system?

What's obvious to me, and I believe this will be obvious to any objective person, is that the reason Brooke charter schools seem to do so well is because they are selecting which students they want to keep and which students they want to throw back to Boston Public Schools. 

Comparing Boston's charter schools to Boston Public Schools is not comparing apples to apples. It appears to be a two-tier system that's separate and unequal - where one system is allowed to select it's population at the expense of, appallingly, the one that actually takes all children.

What's really crazy is that BPS is now forced to send $120 million dollars a year, an average of nearly $1 million per BPS school, to charter schools that BPS never wanted and never asked for. Schools that claim to be superior - a claim that simple doesn't hold up under the least amount of scrutiny, and we seriously need some scrutiny because Massachusetts is now spending $420 million a year on what, from my point of view, is a complete waste of money and does nothing more than defund and cripple the district schools.

Next up (next blog) 
"English Language Learners and Children with Special Needs Perform Significantly Better in Boston's Charter Schools"
No, wait. I think this post covers that. 

Next up will be - Other eyeopening "Facts" about Governor Bakers Charter School "Facts" Website.

John Lerner, BPS Dad.

Member of the Boston Education Justice Alliance and OPENBoston 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Testimony, City Councilor Tito Jackson Charter School Attrition Hearings. December 15, 2015

Thank you for having these hearings, and for allowing me to testify today.

My name is John Lerner, I'm a BPS parent and I'm here to try and open some eyes to the reality of many, if not most, of Boston's charter schools.

It seems that I can't go for more than a few days without hearing about how Boston has the “highest preforming charter school sector in the country”.

That's a pretty incredible statement. In studies all over the rest of the country charter schools have been shown to be: some better than the local public schools, some the same as the local public school average, and some worse than the local public school average, but Boston, Boston's different. Our charter schools are better than all the rest, and not just a little better, they're leaps and bounds better. Our charter schools are miracle charter schools.

Except that they're not. Most of Boston's charter schools, if not all, cheat. The ones that don't cheat, or cheat less, struggle, and sometimes they actually get closed down.

They cheat by who gets in to their schools, and they cheat by skimming the cream of the crop of those that do get in.

We've been hearing a lot about English language learner populations (ELL) in Boston's charter schools lately. Entry into Boston's charter schools is by lottery. One would assume that with a lottery entry system that the charter schools student population would reflect the population of BPS. It doesn't. BPS has an ELL population that hovers at around 30%, yet I see charter schools (Brooke Charter, Roslindale, for example) that has an ELL population that is consistently below 1%, and in some years falls to as low as 2/10 of 1%. I'm not cherry picking data here. I looked at Brooke because they just became the highest preforming district in the state, so I looked at them, and I saw that how they got that statistic is, they cheat. They skim.

Two new studies, one by an MIT economics PhD candidate, and another by Boston's very own think tank “The Pioneer Institute”; tell us how well Boston's charter schools are doing with increasing ELL populations. The new Pioneer Institute study specifically cites Excel Academy in East Boston as an example of how charter school populations of ELL's are rising. Well... the fact is Excel Academy has an ELL population that is 48% lower than the BPS average. The Pioneer Institute would like you to believe that 48% lower is apples to apples - and that this is a good example of how charter schools are playing on a level field and doing a better job. They're not. Study after study that I see leave out small details - like populations that have a difference of 48 percent or more.

I could go on and on about the different ways Boston's charter schools cheat, because that's what it is when you claim you're the same as, but better than, and you're not, but this hearing is about attrition, namely, charter school attrition.

First, I'd like to point our that the attrition numbers on the DESE web site are useless. A direct quote from the DESE website:

This report provides the percentage of attrition by grade from the end of one school year to the beginning of the next for students enrolled in public schools, including charter schools, in the state.

AKA, over the summer.

The thing is, over the summer is not when the kids leave. The kids leave during the school year, and from what I hear, most leave right before testing in March. The fact that there's such a huge discrepancy between that the DESE website states as attrition, and the results you get by actually tracking a cohort through, is direct evidence that the students leave during the school year - and not over the summer.

I've tracked the true attrition of Boston's Charter High school cohorts, and I've tracked the attrition of some Boston Charter middle and elementary schools. The number I'm coming up with for an average is 13.49%. From what I've seen, Boston's charter schools lose an average of 13.49% of their students, each year. That's 40% of all the charter school kids every three years - 67.45% every four years.

With Boston having a charter school population of 8,500 - that would mean that somewhere around 1,150 children are returned to BPS, each year.

It goes without saying that some schools are better than that, and some schools are worse. The absolute worst I've seen (and I'll call them out on this because I think it might actually be criminal) is City on a Hill Charter School, Dudley. In 2013 - 106 children entered 9th grade at City on a Hill, Dudley. Only 55 of those children remained to return to school the next year. That's a loss of 48% of the cohort, in one year. 

I'd also like to mention that the out of school suspension rate for City on a Hill, Dudley was sky high that year, at 49%. For comparison, the state average for the same year was twelve times less than that, at 3.9%.

I call it “Punish/Push Out/Rinse/Repeat”.

That's one way you get the “Highest preforming charter sector in the country”.

I wouldn't care about this as much if this scam weren't hurting the vast majority of the children in Boston, but it is. The charter schools are now taking $122 million a year (nearly $1 million per school) away from BPS, and that harms 57,000 BPS school children, one of which happens to be my daughter.

I hope today's hearing marks the beginning of a much higher level of scrutiny of the Think Tanks and Economics Majors claims of the superiority of Boston's charter schools. I hope that myself and the other people testifying today are able open some eyes to what I consider to be nothing more than a house of cards. I hope that someday soon, possibly today, we can start to focus on what's necessary to actually educate Bostons children and not simple privatize education at the expense of Boston's children.

Thank you for your time and for your service.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Thank You, Elizabeth Setren

Hi Elizabeth,

I hear you've recently completed a paper on how well Boston charter schools are doing with English Language Learners (ELL's) That's so great.

I've looked at some Boston charter school ELL population percentages. I didn't know they (Boston charters) actually did a better job educating ELL's though. Thank you so much for pointing that out.

One thing I do wonder about is... how can a school that has a lottery entry system (like the one Brooke Charter, Roslindale has) have so few English language learners, year after year after year? Something seems a little tiny bit oddly strange here. Am I right? Probably just luck. No way of knowing.

Something else I've looked at, the horrendous attrition of Bostons charter schools.... (75% for Boston Prep Charter)

More here -> http://bit.ly/1OStjgJ

Funny, with the horrendous attrition of Boston charter schools, so many, many, children leaving, it's hardly surprising that a higher percentage of BPS children actually make it through high school and go on to college. 

All of this used to make me wonder why BPS is paying $122 million a year (nearly $1 million per BPS school) to these Boston charter schools that seem to be little more than spin, and nothing much more then a scam. Now I know. The fact that my daughters Boston public school has had to go to "Donors Choose" for pencils makes sense now.

Thanks again for pointing out how well the charter schools in Boston are doing with ELL students. So awesome. 

BPS Dad,
John Lerner

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Testimony, Joint Comittee on Education 10/13/2015

Testimony Concerning Senate Bill S.326
A Moratorium on Commonwealth Charter Schools.

I'm here today in an effort to convince you to sign on as a sponsor of, and to advance out of committee, bill S.326, calling for an investigation of, and a moratorium on, Commonwealth Charter Schools in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

I'm constantly hearing the phrase, “Boston has the highest performing charter school sector in the country”. If you only look at test scores that appears to be true, but if you dig deeper and look at how the test scores are obtained, you'll see something that's not very pleasant, something that is horribly wrong. The charter high schools in Boston push out an average of 13.5% of a cohort a year. That works out to 40.5% every three years, and guess what? As a result - their test scores and grads to college stats soar.

A really interesting thing is, if you look at the number of students that entered high school as freshman in Boston Public Schools - that end up actually graduating and going on to college, and compare that to an aggregate of the six Commonwealth Charter high schools in Boston, BPS beats the charters, 51% to 46%. In BPS, 51% percent make it through high school and go on to college - 46% make it through the Boston charter high schools and go on to college. Even if you take out the three BPS exam schools the percentages are almost identical. BPS 44%, charter schools 46%.

I'd like to remind you that Boston is performing in the bottom 10% of school districts in Massachusetts. BPS also has a 24% higher ELL population then the Boston charter schools, yet somehow BPS is beating the “Highest Performing Charter School Sector in the Country” in the percentage of students that make it through high school and go on to college, and that's the goal, right, to become college and career ready?

Something is seriously wrong here.

The attrition rates I started out talking about - don't show up on the DESE web site. That's because DESE only counts the children that leave over the summer. The exact statement on their web site is:

This report provides the percentage of attrition by grade from the end of one school year to the beginning of the next for students enrolled in public schools, including charter schools, in the state.”

The fact that there is a huge attrition discrepancy between tracking a cohort through year to year - and what the DESE web site states, is a good indicator that the students are not leaving over the summer to go off to an exam school , but that students are leaving during the school year, when their leaving is not being reported by DESE.

A perfect example is Brooke Charter School in Mattapan, where Governor Baker announced his “Lift the Cap” bill last week. A Boston Globe editorial that also came out last week, about Brooke, opened by saying

One of the best schools in this city - and perhaps the whole state - sits on the edge of Mattapan”

and then went in to say,

Others suggest that charter schools get good results because they kick out the bad apples. But Brooke has one of the lowest attrition rates in the city.”

After reading this I took a look at the attrition at Brook. It turns out that the class that graduated 8th grade in 2015 started out in 5th grade with 47 students, and ended up with only 24 students remaining to enter 8th grade. That's an attrition rate of 49%. One half of the class disappeared, and they did not go off to exam school - because that attrition, students leaving over the summer, would have shown up in the DESE attrition statistics.

One way the charter schools get the students that they don't want to keep, to leave, is by suspending them, over and over, until the students and parents decide they simply can't go on like this. A good example of this practice is Roxbury Preparatory charter school, a school our new US Secretary of Education, John King, co-founded. Roxbury Prep isn't the worst in suspending students in the Boston charter sector - but John King is the one that set the standard on how to achieve what, at first glance, appears to be a great school.

The average suspension rate for students in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts over the last twelve years is 5.9%. John King's Roxbury Prep's suspension rate average over the last twelve years is not twice that, it's not even five times that, it's nearly ten times that, at 54.2%.

The average attrition rate at Roxbury Prep, for nine cohorts, starting with the cohort that graduated in 2006 and ending with the cohort that graduated in 2014, is perfectly on track with the Boston charter high school's yearly attrition average of 13.5% - and comes in at 13.3% - per year.

My family made the choice to send my daughter to a BPS school. I'm not sure any of what's going on with charter schools in Massachusetts would have come onto my radar if it weren't directly effecting my daughter and her schools funding.

Boston Public Schools is now sending $122 million a year to charter schools. That averages out to $953,000 for each and every one of the 128 BPS schools. The loss of 6-12 children from my daughters small school to charter schools each year results in a loss of funding of around $132,000 for BPS. The students we never get, that ones that went to charter schools in the first place, probably adds up to about twice that. This impacts our school to the degree that, in order to keep instructors in the classroom, all parts of our schools budget that can be slashed, have been. It's to the point where our teachers have posted on Donors Choose - asking for pencils.

I'm here today to ask you to stop what's happening here. I'm here today to ask you to let any bill that proposes to lift the cap on the number of charter schools in Massachusetts - die on the vine. I'm asking you to sponsor and advance bill S.326, calling for an investigation of, and a moratorium on, Commonwealth Charter Schools in Massachusetts.

I'm hoping that what's going on here can be exposed, and that the people that are responsible for this fraud will be punished.

Thank you for your service, and for allowing me to speak today.