There is something insidious about Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson growing up in Roxbury, being afforded the unique privilege of attending Brookline schools, and now leading the charge against school choice for families in the very same neighborhoods he is supposed to represent.
Jackson wants to be Mayor. I’m pretty sure that’s not a secret. And he has strategically embedded himself in the blood sport of education politics, working alongside union backed organizations, encouraging students to walk out of school to attend city council meetings, and now championing a resolution to keep the current charter cap and vote no on Question 2. It’s hard to find him anywhere without a giant “Vote No” sign nearby.
Tito’s repeated comments about charter schools demonstrate that he is either totally misinformed as to how the schools work or, the more likely scenario, that he has sold his soul to special interests because winning elections is more important to him than ensuring that the children in his district have the educational opportunities that he did.
One has to ask, how can Tito even be serious with his rhetoric? How can he look at the Boston Public Schools budget that rose every year from $737M in 2011 to over $1 BILLION today and still spread the lie that giving parents quality choices siphons money from the traditional system? Perhaps his mistakes in budgeting are explained by a Boston Globe analysis that Tito only appeared for slightly more than a quarter of hearings for the Ways and Means Committee.
No Choice for You
Tito Jackson’s family exercised school choice. And no one begrudges Tito for the excellent education he received in Brookline.
We do, however, take issue with his hypocrisy. He has become a poster child for the saying, “Do as I say, not as I do” and sadly, his constituents, both parents and children, are the victims of his double standard.
Black and Latino parents overwhelmingly support school choice both nationally and locally. A national 2015 survey conducted by the Black Alliance for Educational Options shows that 70 percent of black voters support having more educational options in their communities. Recent polling of Boston parents finds that 75 percent of them support lifting the charter cap with support highest among Black and Latino parents. Tito Jackson is an elected official in the black community. But he isn’t listening.
When we see reading and math score declines in both 4th and 8th grades in the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), we know that change is needed. And when we see 70% support for more parent choice options such high-quality traditional public, public charter and scholarship programs, it’s a strong indicator that Black voters know what they want for their children and are engaged in the education reform process. -BAEO Director of Policy and Research Tiffany Forrester
The Real Subscription to Poverty
Before voting to give himself a $20,000 raise, City Councilor Tito Jackson lamented his current salary of $87,500 and said public service should not be a “subscription to poverty. (Boston Globe, October 8, 2014)
Meanwhile, Tito Jackson is known for working hard to vote in raises for himself and his fellow councilors. He is so disconnected from reality that he fails to realize that denying kids educational opportunities is the real subscription to poverty.
Without a strong educational foundation like Tito got in Brookline, children in his community can only dream of making $87,000 a year; from the floor of Boston’s City Council chambers, Tito argued that salary constituted poverty, for him.
The reality for Tito’s constituents in Roxbury is much different – the federal poverty line is $24,000 for a family of four. Can he really argue that a household with three times the income and three less people is equally impoverished?
Tito Jackson has lost his way. Let’s not let him take our kids with him.