Left to right: Chair Michael D. O'Neill, Regina Robinson, Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Alexandra Oliver-Davila, Superintendent Tommy Chang, Jeri Robinson, Vice-Chair Dr. Hardin Coleman, and Michael Loconto. (Not pictured: Dr. Miren Uriarte.) Photo credit: Don Harney, Mayor's Office.
The Boston School Committee is the governing body of the Boston Public Schools. The School Committee is responsible for:
Defining the vision, mission and goals of the Boston Public Schools;
Establishing and monitoring the annual operating budget;
Hiring, managing and evaluating the Superintendent; and
Setting and reviewing district policies and practices to support student achievement.
The seven members of the School Committee are Boston residents appointed by the Mayor of Boston to serve four-year staggered terms.
In November 1989, the citizens of Boston approved a referendum to replace the existing 13-member elected School Committee with a seven-member Mayorally-appointed Committee. In 1991, the Governor and State Legislature signed a Home Rule Petition submitted by the Mayor and City Council enacting legislation to create the appointed board. The first appointed School Committee was sworn into office in January 1992. In a November 1996 referendum, voters chose to maintain the appointed School Committee structure.
The Mayor appoints members from a list of candidates recommended by a 13-member Citizens Nominating Panel composed of parents, teachers, principals, and representatives of business and higher education. Under the legislation that established the appointed School Committee, "the Mayor shall strive to appoint individuals who reflect the racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity of the city."
In 2004, the Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) awarded the Boston School Committee the inaugural CUBE Annual Award for Urban School Board Excellence. Read the special awards edition of the Urban Advocate, "Boston: Showcasing the Best in Urban School Governance." The Boston School Committee was named a finalist for the CUBE award again in 2011.
In 2007, the Council of the Great City Schools awarded Dr. Elizabeth Reilinger, then Chairperson of the Boston School Committee, the Richard R. Green Award, the nation's highest honor for individual urban school district leadership.