Governor Baker claims that “the science” does not support starting school remotely next month (“Baker rejects virtual-class model for all in the fall,” Metro, Aug. 8). However, the dilapidated state of most of our schools does.
I work at and send my children to Boston Latin Academy. Our 90-year-old building has poor ventilation, worse climate control, inadequate bathroom facilities, crowded hallways, an outdated cafeteria, windows that don’t open, and small interior rooms. And my school is better than others. I wonder whether the high school in Swampscott, where the governor lives, suffers from decades of neglect as many of Boston’s schools do?
COVID-19 has laid bare the gross inequities of funding schools based on property taxes. Suburban districts thrive while urban and rural districts fall further and further behind.
Boston has the additional handicap of having half its property deemed tax exempt by the state. It is high time to have the multibillion-dollar nonprofits pay at least some of their property tax to Boston. Perhaps then we could get our school buildings, many of which were built at the time of the 1918 flu, up to snuff for this century’s pandemic.
Michael J. Maguire
The writer teaches Latin at Boston Latin Academy and serves on the executive board of the Boston Teachers Union.