Aims of Cross-Sector Operations
- Ensure all students have equitable access to high quality schools
- Leverage financial resources by coordinating across sectors
- Provide a platform for successful interventions and innovations to spread to other schools and educators
Boston Compact in Action
Compact partners have helped families access school enrollment information, reduced busing costs for the district and secured school buildings for a few charter schools.
Requiring families to navigate multiple school applications and enrollment processes exacerbates inequities, but Compact partners have taken multiple steps to streamline processes. First, they aligned their enrollment calendars and district and charter schools included one another in school showcases. In 2013, the partners launched Boston Schools Hub, a website where families can search all district, charter and Catholic schools by neighborhood or grade. The Compact is now exploring the potential of a citywide enrollment process that would provide families with one place to apply to district and charter schools. Data from such a process would also help schools budget more accurately and help the Compact partners better understand student migration between sectors.
The Compact partners have worked to reduce funds currently used for transportation in order to maximize spending on classroom instruction. Through the Compact, charter schools agreed to align their busing schedules with the district’s timetable. Coupled with district schools changes, these shifts are anticipated to save BPS (which is required by the Commonwealth to provide transportation for charter school students) $1.9 million in reduced transportation costs next school year.
Locating and paying for buildings is another challenge faced by schools, particularly charter schools. Collaboration under the auspices of the Compact has resulted in BPS leasing three previously closed school buildings to charter schools. Catholic schools also have been key partners, renting temporary space to charter schools as they renovate permanent homes.