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January28,2016

DivisionofOpenGovernment
OfficeoftheAttorneyGeneral
OneAshburtonPlace
Boston,MA02108
openmeeting@state.ma.us

Re:RequestforFurtherReviewOpenMeetingLawComplaintBostonCompactSteeringCommittee

DearDivisionofOpenGovernment:

QualityEducationforEveryStudent(QUEST),agrassrootsorganizationofBostonPublicSchool
(BPS)parents,requestsfurtherreviewoftheCityofBostonsresponsetoQUESTsComplaintregarding
meetingsoftheBostonCompactSteeringCommitteethatoccurredandcontinuetooccurinviolationofthe
OpenMeetingLaw,M.G.L.c.30Ass.1825.
TheBostonCompactSteeringCommitteeisa13memberbodywithmembersrepresentativeofthe
interestsofthreedifferentsectorsofelementaryandsecondaryeducationwithintheCityofBoston:the
districtpublicschoolsystem,agrowingsectorofcharterschoolsandtraditionalCatholicschools.The
BostonCompactSteeringCommitteemeetsregularlyandperiodicallytodiscussandandattemptto
addressandcoordinatecommoncrosssectorpolicyandoperationalissuesandchallengesandtomake
policyrecommendationsrespectivelytotheBostonSchoolCommittee,tocharterschoolboardsofdirectors
andtothegoverningbodiesoftheschoolsoftheArchdioceseofBoston,asappropriate,forapprovalwith
theoverarchinggoalofestablishingandsustaininghighqualityeducationforschoolagedchildreninBoston
whoattendschoolsoperatedbyeachsectorinamannerthatrespectstheirdifferentphilosophies,
pedagogy,policiesandpractices.
TheOpenMeetingLawComplaintatissuewasfiledonNovember12,2015.TheCityLaw
DepartmentrespondedbyletterdatedDecember17,2015.CopiesoftheComplaintandtheCitysresponse
areattached.QUESTisnotsatisfiedwiththeCitysresponseortheactionsbytheBostonCompactSteering
CommitteetotakesomestepsthatmirrorrequirementsofOpenMeetingLawtomaketheBoston
Compactsdeliberationsandactivitiesmoretransparenttothepublic.QUESTseeksfurtherreview,aformal

orderbytheOfficeoftheAttorneyGeneralwithadeclarationthattheBostonCompactSteeringCommittee
isapublicbodyandsuchotherreliefasisrequiredforcompliance.
1.

Aspartofitseffortstoensureequity,access,accountabilityandtransparencywithrespecttopublic
educationinBoston,QUESTmembersregularlyattendopenmeetingsoftheBostonSchool
Committee(BSC)andmultimembertaskforces,advisorycommitteesandworkinggroups.For
example,QUESTmembersparticipatedduringan18monthcommunityprocessofopenmeetings
ledbyavolunteer27memberExternalAdvisoryCommittee[EAC],aMayoralandSchool
Committeefacilitatedcommunityengagementprocessin2012and20131whichculminatedin
recommendationstotheBostonSchoolCommitteeforadoptionofanewBostonPublicSchools
(BPS)schoolchoicelotterysystemthatprovidesparentswithaguaranteednumberoftier1,2,and
3BPSschoolsinacustomizedBPSschoolchoicelistbasedontheirresidentialaddress.2 QUEST
membersalsoparticipatedduringa16monthcommunityprocessofopenmeetingsledbya
volunteer22memberSchoolQualityWorkingGroup(SQWG)fromMay2013September2014
thatculminatedinadditionalrecommendationstotheBSCforadoptionofacomprehensiveand
transparentschoolqualitymetrictobeincorporatedintothenewBPSschoolchoicelotterysystem
bothforstructuringequitableschoolchoicelistsandforprovidingaframeworkforparentstomake
informeddecisionsamongcomparableschoolsontheircustomizedlist.3

2.

OnWednesday,September17,2015Bostonnewsmediaoutletsreportedthat:

DevelopingAStrategicVisionfortheBostonPublicSchoolsa
tpage3.
http://www.bostonpublicschools.org/cms/lib07/MA01906464/Centricity/Domain/287/BPS%20Strategic%20R
eportFINAL20150204.pdf
2
BSCMinutesMarch13,2013
http://www.bostonpublicschools.org/cms/lib07/MA01906464/Centricity/Domain/162/Minutes31313.pdf

3
TheSQWG...heldover40meetingsthroughoutsixteenmonths,continuouslyupdatedthe
BostonSchoolQuality.orgwebsitewithuptodatematerials,andcreatedonlinesurveysto
regularlyobtainpublicinput.
https://bostonschoolquality.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/sqwgsuperintendentrecommendations_091014_fu
ll.pdfAgendasandminutesofSQWGmeetingsareavailableathttp://bostonschoolquality.org/resources/
ThefinalSQWGrecommendationsareavailableat
http://www.bostonpublicschools.org/cms/lib07/MA01906464/Centricity/Domain/1898/SchoolQualityFramewo
rkFull.pdf

Bostonstudentswouldbeabletoapplysimultaneouslytocharteranddistrictschools
underaproposalthatMayorMartyWalshplanstoreleaseThursday. 4andthat:
Theproposal,whichlikelywouldtakeeffectintimeforfall2017schoolassignments,first
needsapprovalfromtheSchoolCommittee[]TheproposalwasguidedbyRahnDorsey,
Bostonschiefofeducation,andRachelWeinstein,chiefcollaborationofficerfortheBoston
Compact,anorganizationcreatedin2011toencouragecollaborationamongdistrict,
charter,andCatholicschools.Parochialschoolsarenotincludedinthenewplanbecause
theyarereligiousinstitutions.5
3.

OnFriday,September18,2015,MayorMartinJ.Walshissuedapressreleaseannouncingsix
citywidecommunitymeetings,thefirstofwhichwasscheduledforOctober8,forparents,educators
andstudentstodiscusscreatingaunifiedenrollmentsystemfordistrictandcharterschoolsin
Boston.TheMayoremphasized,AnyplantoimplementunifiedenrollmentinBostonwouldrequire
avotebytheBostonSchoolCommitteeandindividualcharterschools.6

4.

OnSeptember24,2015,aspartofitscontinuedeffortstomonitorequityandholdofficials
accountable,QUESTfiledrequestsforpublicrecordswiththeMayorsEducationChief,theBoston
SchoolCommitteeChair,andtheChiefofStafffortheBostonPublicSchoolsincludingarequestfor
anyandallminutesoftheBostonCompactanditssubcommitteesincludingbutnotlimitedtoa
unifiedenrollmentsystemforBostonPublicSchoolsandcharterschools.

5.

OnSeptember30,2015,atanopenmeetingoftheBostonSchoolCommittee,theMayors
EducationChiefRahnDorseyandBPSManagingPartnerofInnovationDr.RossWilsonpublicly

PeterBalononRosenBostonProposesCombiningCharter,DistrictEnrollmentApplicationsWBUR

September17,2015

http://learninglab.wbur.org/2015/09/17/bostonproposescombiningcharterdistrictenrollmentapplications/
(lastvisitedJanuary25,2016)

5
JeremyFoxPlanwouldsimplifyBostonpublicschoolenrollmentsBostonGlobeSeptember17,2015
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/09/16/proposalwouldofferonestopenrollmentforbostondistrict
charterschools/cDP45w3fnLjXBgdK0qtViO/story.html(lastvisitedJanuary25,2016)

6
PressReleaseMayorWalshAnnouncesCitywideMeetingsonUnifiedEnrollment
http://www.cityofboston.gov/news/default.aspx?id=20333(lastvisitedJanuary26,2016)

presentedinformationandbackgroundregardingthe2011BostonDistrictCharterCompact
approvedbytheBostonSchoolCommittee,andaproposalforadoptionofarenewedBoston
Compact7 includingproposedCompactcommitmentsforBPS,charterschools,andCatholic
schoolsandtosupportthecollaborationwithanannualcontributionof$10Kforinfrastructureeach
year(beginningFY17).OneSchoolCommitteemember(whohadearlierservedasavolunteer
memberoftheEducationalAdvisoryCommittee)askedwhatisCompactisitpublicorprivate?
Inresponse,itwasexplainedthatthePrivateIndustryCouncilservesasafiscalagentfortheentity
butthattheSchoolCommitteeretainscontrolofpolicy.8
6.

OnOctober14,2015,atanopenmeetingoftheBostonSchoolCommittee,Dr.RossWilsonwho
wasappointedasamemberoftheSteeringCommitteebytheadministrationofMayor
Menino/SuperintendentJohnsonandwhorecentlywasreappointedanddesignatedastheBPS
CompactCoChairbytheadministrationofMayorWalsh/SuperintendentChangrevealedthat
therewerenominutesoftheSteeringCommitteemeetings.SchoolCommitteememberMs.Jeri
RobinsonaskediftheBostonCompactwillabidebyopenmeetinglawandpostminutes.[The
Chair]Mr.ONeillexplainedthattheBostonCompactisnotagovernment(sic)bodysubjecttoopen
meetinglawandisalsonotapolicymeetingbody.Ms.ReginaRobinson[anotherSchool
Committeemember]encouragedtheCompactSteeringCommitteetoallowacommunitypresence
atitsmeetings.9TheCommitteeapprovedtherenewaloftheBostonCompactbya50vote(one
memberwasabsent,onerecusedherself).TheBSCOrderevidencesitscontrol:The
SuperintendentoftheBostonPublicSchools(BPS)Districtshallappointdesignees,includinga

MinutesofthemeetingandacopyofthepresentationtotheBostonSchoolCommitteeareavailableon
theSchoolCommitteesmeetingsarchiveat:
http://boston.schoolwires.net/cms/lib07/MA01906464/Centricity/Domain/162/School%20Committee_Compac
tFINALppt_2015_9_30.pdf(lastvisitedJanuary26,2016)
8
ArchivesofpastSchoolCommitteemeetingsmayincludebothvideoandwrittensummariesofthe
meetings.MinutesofpastSchoolCommitteemeetingsareinPDFformat.ArchivesfromDecember
20122016areavailableat:http://www.bostonpublicschools.org/Page/254NOTE:Toobtainadditional
documents,contacttheSchoolCommitteeOfficeatesullivan3@bostonpublicschools.org.

9
SeeMinutesoftheOctober14,2015meetingoftheBostonSchoolCommitteeat
http://www.bostonpublicschools.org/cms/lib07/MA01906464/Centricity/Domain/162/Minutes%20101415.pdf
(lastvisitedJanuary26,2016)

cochair,torepresentBPSontheBostonCompactSteeringCommittee.TheCompactSteering
CommitteeshallcontinuetosubmitallpolicyrecommendationstotheBostonSchoolCommittee
(andcharterschoolboardsandthegoverningbodiesoftheschoolsoftheArchdioceseofBoston),
asappropriate,forapproval.10
7.

Shortlythereafter,onOctober30,2015theCityLawDepartmentrespondedtoQUESTsPublic
RecordsRequestonbehalfoftheMayorsEducationChiefwhoservesasaCoChairoftheBoston

10

SeeemaildatedfromBSCExecutiveSecretaryElizabethSullivanttoPeggyWiesenbergNovember3,
2015whichstates:Hereisthewordingofthemotion:

ORDERED,ThatintheinterestofallschoolchildrenoftheCityofBoston,theBostonSchool
CommitteeherebyreaffirmsthecommitmentoftheBostonPublicSchoolsDistricttothe2011Boston
Compact(formerlyDistrictCharterCompact)withtheBostonAllianceofCharterSchoolsandtheschools
oftheArchdioceseofBoston,andcommitstotheseupdatedsharedgoalsforthenextthreeyears:

I.EstablishCollectiveResponsibilityforClosingOpportunityand
AchievementGaps

II.IncreasetheNumberofHighQualitySchoolsandtheNumberofStudentsEducatedinHigh
QualitySchools

III.DevelopFamilyFriendly,EquitableSystemstoAccessHighQualitySchoolsClosetoHome

IV.ReorienttoaCitywide,CoordinatedPortfolioPlanningProcess

TheSuperintendentoftheBostonPublicSchools(BPS)Districtshallappointdesignees,includinga
cochair,torepresentBPSontheBostonCompactSteeringCommittee.

TheCompactSteeringCommitteeshallcontinuetosubmitallpolicyrecommendationstotheBoston
SchoolCommittee(andcharterschoolboardsandthegoverningbodiesoftheschoolsoftheArchdiocese
ofBoston),asappropriate,forapproval.

Onrollcall,theorderwasapprovedbythefollowingvote:

YEAS
MichaelT.Loconto,JeriRobinson,ReginaM.Robinson,ViceChairpersonHardinColeman
andChairpersonMichaelD.ONeill5

NAYS
0

RECUSEDMegCampbell1

ABSENT
MirenUriarte1

Pleaseletmeknowifyouneedanythingelse.
Best,
Liz
.
5

CompactSteeringCommittee.TheCityprovidedagendastosomemeetingsthathadbeenheldon
April17,2015,July15,2015aJuly2015UpdateforSteeringCommitteemembersregardingnew
membershipoftheSteeringCommittee,membershipofthesubcommittees,andnarrativeupdates
regardingtheEnrollBostonsubcommittee,standingcommitteesandphilanthropyaSeptember16,
2015emailfromtheCompactsstaffwhofacilitatemeetingstotheMayorsEducationChiefand
othermembersoftheSteeringCommitteewithattachmentsincludingan8pageconfidential
workinprocessproposalforuniversalenrollmentandatwopagerecordidentifyingPotential
OptionsforaMayoralAnnouncementduringtheStateoftheCityAddressregardingEnrollBoston
(alsoreferredtoasuniversalenrollment).
8.

OnNovember2,2015QUESTemailedstaffwhofacilitatemeetingsoftheCompactSteering
Committeetoinquire:WhenandwherearetheCompact'sannualandquarterlymeetings?No
responsewasprovideduntilJanuary2016.Seeinfra.

9.

OnNovember12,2015QUESTfiledanOpenMeetingLawComplaintwiththeCityClerk,theCity
EducationChief/CoChairoftheCompactSteeringCommittee,theBPSChiefofStaff(the
SuperintendentsdesignedmembertotheSteeringCommittee),andtheBSCChairmanclaiming
numerousviolationsoftheOpenMeetingLawincludingfailuretopostagendasonthemunicipal
website,failuretomaintainminutesormakeminutesavailableuponrequest,andnonconformance
withtheregulatoryrequirementsregardingremoteparticipation.

10. OnNovember13,2015,withoutpostinganOpenMeetingNoticeandunbeknownsttoQUEST,the
CompactSteeringCommitteemetatBostonPublicSchoolsHeadquarterslocatedintheBruce
BollingBuildinginRoxburytodiscussUnifiedEnrollmentandproposedmeasurestomakethework
oftheCompactmoretransparent,whilemaintainingsteadfastintheirbeliefthatSteering
Committeeisnotapublicbody.11TheonlynonmembersoftheSteeringCommitteeinattendance
were:theformerCoChairoftheCompactfromthechartersectorKevinAndrews(exofficio),former

11

ThissetofminutesisavailableontheBostonCompactwebsite:
http://www.bostoncompact.org/wpcontent/uploads/111315SteeringCommittee.pdf(lastvisitedJanuary27,
2016)Tomyknowledge,nootherminutesoftheBostonCompactSteeringCommitteehavebeenpostedon
theBostonCompactwebsite.

BostonSchoolCommitteememberMaryTamer(BostonCharterAssociation),and2staffwho
facilitatemeetingsofthebody.AccordingtotheminutespostedasofJanuary27th,theSteering
Committeeunanimouslyapprovedpublishingmembership,objectivesandminutesfortheSteering
CommitteeandsubcommitteemeetingsontheCompactswebsite.
11. ByaletterdatedNovember23,2015,theLegalAdvisorrespondedonbehalfoftheBSCandthe
BPSSuperintendentsofficetoQUESTsrequestforminutesofSteeringCommitteeand
subcommittee.TheResponsedidnotclaimtherewerenominutes.Rather,theResponseclaimed:
Wedonothavedocumentsinourpossession,custodyorcontrolresponsivetothisrequest[for
minutes].Thisclaimdefiesreason.BPSofficialswhomakeorreceiveminutes,agendasorother
recordsintheirofficialcapacityasgovernmentemployeesareholdersofpublicrecordswitha
legaldutytoprovidesuchrecordsuponrequestunderthePublicRecordsLaw,M.G.L.c.6610,
M.G.L.c.74cl.26.Inthismatter,theChairoftheBSCmaynothavereceivedminutesofthe
meetingsoftheSteeringCommitteeorsubcommitteesoftheBostonCompac.However,inthe
normalcourseofbusiness,itwouldbeexpectedthattheSuperintendentsappointedstaff
designeesandtheMayorsdesigneewhoaremembersandattendmeetingsoftheSteering
Committeeand/orsubcommitteeswouldhavereceivedminutes,eveniftheyreliedona
nonmemberconsultanttotakeminutes,asiscontemplatedbytheSteeringCommitteebylaws.12
12. OnDecember17,2016theCityLawDepartmentrespondedtoQUESTsOpenMeetingLaw
Complaint.Initsresponse,theCityclaimsthatthattheCompactisnotapublicbodysubjecttothe
OpenMeetingLaw.TheCityacknowledgesthattheCompactismultimemberbodythatservesa
publicpurpose,namelyshapingthefutureofeducationforBostonschildren.TheCityfurther
acknowledgesthattheCityappointedemployeestoserveontheCompactSteeringCommittee.Yet
theCityLawDepartment,onbehalfoftheMayorsEducationChiefandtheMayorsappointed
SchoolCommittee,claimthat:AsidefromappointingemployeestoserveontheCompactsboard,

12

SeeBylawsoftheBostonCompactSteeringAdoptedJuly15,2015ArticleIIISection

3.3.2.Minutes.AtSteeringCommitteemeetings,Compactstaffshallberesponsibleforrecording
discussionsandactionitems.Committeemembersmayapprovetheseminutesatsubsequentmeetingsso
thattheymaybeenteredintotheCompactminutesrecord.

theCityhasnoauthorityovertheCompact.Likewise,theCompactdoesnotserveasanadvisory
boardtotheMayorortheBostonSchoolCommittee.Consequently,theCitymerelyencouraged
theCompacttoadoptpracticesthatmirrortheOML,includingpostingmeetingagendas,keeping
minutes,andprovidingmaterialstothepublic.Thisclaimiswrong.
13. TheOpenMeetingLawwasenacted"toeliminatemuchofthesecrecysurroundingdeliberations
anddecisionsonwhichpublicpolicyisbased."Ghiglione v.SchoolCommitteeofSouthbridge,376
Mass.70,72(1978).Thelawrequiresthatmeetingsofapublicbodybeproperlynoticedandopen
tomembersofthepublic,unlessanexecutivesessionisconvened.SeeG.L.c.30A,20(a)(b),
21.
14. TheOpenMeetingLawdefinesa"publicbody"asany"multiplememberboard,commission,
committeeorsubcommitteewithintheexecutiveorlegislativebranchorwithinanycounty,district,
city,regionortown,howevercreated,elected,appointedorotherwiseconstituted,establishedto
serveapublicpurpose."G.L.c.30A,18.A"subcommittee"includes"anymultiplememberbody
createdtoadviseormakerecommendationstoapublicbody."Id.
15. ThedefinitionofpublicbodyiswritteninthedisjunctiveandappliestotheBostonCompact
SteeringCommitteewhichisamultimemberentitywithintheCityofBoston,albeitnotwithinthe
executivebranch.
16. Thebodymaybe"within"governmentifthegovernmentplayedasignificantroleincreatingor
structuringthegroup,thegovernmenthascontroloverthegroup,andthegroupprimarilyperforms
anessentiallygovernmentalfunction.TheSteeringCommitteeoftheCompactisinfactstructured
toprovideandensuregovernmentwithsufficientcontroltomaketheentityapublicbodyfor
purposesoftheOpenMeetingLaw.The2015Compact(sometimesreferencedinpublicrecordsas
Compact2.0),asapprovedbytheBostonSchoolCommitteeinOctober2015,andasreflectedin
theJuly15,2015SteeringCommitteebylaws(whichdocumentswereprovidedtotheSchool
CommitteebeforetheOctober2015SchoolCommitteevote)restructuredtheSteeringCommittee
toreflectenhancedmunicipalcontrol.

17. The2011Compact(hereinreferredtoastheoriginalCompact),providedfortwoCoChairsone
foreachofthetwosectors(districtandcharterschool)andanequalnumberofmembersfromeach
sector.TheJuly2015thebylawsrestructurethemembershipandleadershipoftheCompact
SteeringCommitteeinamannertoprovidetheCitywithmorecontrol.Compact2.0providesfora
13memberSteeringCommitteewith4membersappointedandremovablebyeachofthe3sectors
(BPS,theAllianceofCharterSchools,andtheCatholicschool)sectorplusathirteenthmember
theMayororhisdesignee.13
18. UnderCompact2.0,theExecutiveCommitteeissimilarlyrestructuredtogivemorepowertothe
City:fourleaders,onefromeachofthethreesectorsplusafourththeMayororhisdesignee.In
fact,twoofthefourleadersofaredesignatedbyCityofficials:(a)aCoChairdesignatedbythe
MayorfromhisCabinetand(b)theSuperintendentoftheBostonPublicSchoolsoradesignated
memberofhisCabinettoserveasanotherCoChair.Asstructured,theSteeringCommittee
leadershippermitsthesetwomunicipalCoChairsactinginconcerttohavemorepowerthaneither
thesoleCoChairrepresentingtheBostonAllianceofCharterSchoolsortheSuperintendentofthe
BostonCatholicSchoolOfficeorhisdesignatedAssociateorAssistantSuperintendent.
19. UnderCompact2.0,aquorumoftheCompactSteeringCommitteeiseightmembers.14 Therefore,
thefivemunicipalmembers(theMayorsChiefofEducation,andfourBPSofficials)outnumberand
havethepotentialtocontrolavoteininstanceswherethereisasimplequorumorwhereall4
membersofthechartersectororall4oftheCatholicschoolsectordisagreewiththeCitysposition
onagivenissueorwhereallorsomeofthemunicipalmembersareabletopersuadeatleasttwoof
thechartersectormembersandtwoofthemunicipalmemberstovotewiththeCity.15

13

SeeBylawsoftheBostonCompactSteeringCommitteeArticleIIExecutiveCommitteeSections2.1and
2.3andArticleIIISections3.2Membershipand3.21Appointmentand3.2.2Removal.

14
SeeBylawsArticleIIISteeringCommitteeSection3.4Quorum.

15
SeeBylawsArticleIIISteeringCommitteeSection3.5Votingthatprovides:

EachSteeringCommitteememberhasonevote.Decisionsmaybemadewithanaffirmativevotefrom
eightmemberssolongasatleasttwomembersofeachsectorhavevotedaffirmatively.

20. ThearchivedrecordsoftheBSCandBPSrevealthatCitizensforPublicSchools(CPS)andBoston
SchoolCommitteemembersraisedquestionsaboutapotentialDistrictCharterCompactbodyas
proposedbySuperintendentCarolJohnsonwhoonApril13,2011presentedtheBostonSchool
Committee16withanoverviewofapotentialDistrictCharterCompactwhichshewasbringing
forwardtotheSchoolCommitteeinresponsetothe2010stateEducationReformlegislation[that]
authorizedtheexpansionofCommonwealthchartersinBostonandactionby[t]heBoardof
ElementaryandSecondary[that]recentlyapprovedthecreationofeightnewcharterschoolsin
Bostonofthenexttwoyears.17TheSuperintendentinformedtheCommitteethatsheandher
seniorstaffhaveheldaseriesofmeetingsandworkshopswithleadersofBostonbasedcharter
schoolswiththegoalofcreatingaDistrictCarterCompact[that]willidentifykeyareasof
potentialcollaboration.18 SheinformedtheSchoolCommitteethatDeputySuperintendentMichael
GoarandDirectorofStrategicPlanningAnnWatermanRoy[would]presentanupdateonthiswork
todateandsolicityourthinkingaboutissuestoconsider...andbeavailabletoanswerquestions19at
theApril13thmeetingoftheBostonSchoolCommitteeandlater.DeputySuperintendentGoar,in
hisoralpresentationattheApril13thmeeting,explainedthatBostonwouldbethefirstdistrictin
MassachusettstoenterintoaGatesfundedDistrictCharterCompactandthatasignedCompact

16

SeeAgendaandMinutesfortheApril13,2011BostonSchoolCommitteeandtheaccompanying
materials:(1)SuperintendentJohnsonsApril13,2011MemototheBSCregardingRedesignand
ReinvestNextStepsandProcess:SchoolChoiceproposingtoredesigntheschoolchoicesystemto
maintainchoiceanddiversitywhilecreatingmoretransparencyandpredictability.(2),theattachedApril11,
2011PowerPointpresentationbyDeputySuperintendentMichaelGoarregardingRedesignandReinvest:
SchoolChoice.(3)SuperintendentJohnsonsApril13,2011MemototheBSCre.UpdateonDistrict
CharterCompactcovermemo(4)theattachedApril13,2011PowerPointpresentationbyDeputy
SuperintendentMichaelGoarandDirectorofStrategicPlanningAnnWatermanRoyre.DistrictCharter
Compact.

17
SeeSuperintendentJohnsonsApril13,2011MemototheBSCre.UpdateonDistrictCharterCompact
covermemo.

18
Id.

19
Id.

10

wouldenableustoapplyforfunding20 inGatesRoundII.OnMay6,2011theSuperintendent
presentedtheBostonSchoolCommitteewithwhatshecharacterizedasafinalversionofthe
compactdocumentandaskedthattheCommitteeforavoteonthewrittendocumentattheMay
11,2011BostonSchoolCommitteemeeting.21Actionappearstohavebeentabled.
21. OnSeptember7,2011,theBostonSchoolCommittee,afterreceivingafinaldraftofthe
BPSchartercompactfromtheSuperintendentwhosoughtanimmediateactionthatnightstating
weareeagertomakethiscompactofficial,22hadmorequestionsthananswers.Mindfulofthe
BostonSchoolCommitteespolicymakingandfiscaloversightandstewardshipresponsibilitiesfor
57,000studentsincludingEnglishLanguageLearnersandStudentswithSpecialEducationNeeds
andmorethan126schools,theCommitteevoted(50)toremovetheDistrictCharterCompact
itemfromtheActionItemssectionoftheAgenda.23
22. Thereafter,theExecutiveDirectorofCPSwentonrecordtoraisequestionsaboutthedraft
compactdocument24andtheproposedOfficeofCompactAgreementasking:isittobea
nonprofitwithfiverepresentativesfromtheBostonPublicSchoolsandfivefromtheBoston
AllianceofCharterSchools.Again,thisisacreationwithoutinputofparents,community
organizations,teachersandstudents.Infact,theCompactproposalfailstomentionparentsatall.
Willthisofficebesubjecttotheopenmeetinglaw?Willithaveabudgetandstaff?Whowillpayfor
it?TheCompactallowstheSchoolCommitteetocedesomestrategicplanningtothisnewOfficeof

20

SeeMinutesandaudiotapeofApril13,2011BostonSchoolCommittee.TheGatesFoundationreportedly
wasprovidingplanningmoneytoseveralothercitiesDenver,Chicago,NewYorkCity,LosAngelesand
HartfordfordevelopmentofDistrictCharterCompact.

21
SeeSuperintendentJohnsonsMay6,2011MemototheBSCre.DistrictCharterCompactcovermemo
andtheattachedversionofthecompactdocument.

22
SuperintendentJohnsonsSeptember7,,2011MemototheBSCre.DistrictCharterCompactcover
memoandtheattachedversionofthecompactdocument.

23
SeeSeptemberMotiontoRemoveDistrictCharterCompactItemFromActionItemsSectionofthe
AgendaandvoterecordedbytheBSCExecutiveSecretary.

24
OnSeptember14,2011BSCExecutiveSecretarysofficesenttheSeptember7,2014draftcompact
documentandSuperintendentJohnsonsSeptember7,2011MemotoCPSExecutiveDirectorviafacsimile
inadvanceofthenextmeetingoftheBostonSchoolCommitteescheduledforSeptember2011.

11

CompactAgreement.Thisincludesschoolassignmentandenrollmentissues,alwayscontentiousin
Boston.25
23. ThearchivedrecordsoftheBSCandtheBPSinfactprovideevidencethattheCityslegalteam
andtheBostonSchoolCommitteehadacontrollinghandinstrengtheningthesubstantive
provisionsofthewrittendocument(Compact1.0),whichtheBostonSchoolCommitteevotedto
approveonSeptember19,2011soastoensurethattheproposedtwosectorDistrictCharter
CompactSteeringCommitteewouldnotcedetheSchoolCommitteesauthorityoverkey
governmentfunctionsthebodywouldnotbeincorporatedasanonprofitentityaccountabletoa
privateBoardofDirectorsandwouldnotovercommitregardingpolicyandfiscalmattersthatneed
tobebroughtbacktotheCommitteeintheformofrecommendationsforitsdecisionmaking
includingbutnotlimitedto:
a.

apotentialunifiedenrollmentsystemforassigningstudentstodistrictandnondistrict
charterschools

b.

potentialleasingofdistrictschoolfacilitiestoeducationalinstitutionsincludingcharters
butnotasearlierproposed(leasingunderutilizedandvacantdistrictbuildingstocharter

schools,possiblyinexchangeforcharterassistancewithtransportationcostsandbroad
participationinthiscompact)and
c.

potentialofferingCommonwealthcharterschoolsaccesstothedistrictsbulkpurchasing.

24. AccordingtoBSCMinutesSeptember19,2011,thevotewas5infavorand2Nays.Ms.Tamer,
oneoftwomemberswhovotedno,readastatementexpressingheroppositiontotheDistrict
CharterCompactandthreemembers,Messrs.Barros,ONeillandMartinez,eachstatedthatthe
processregardingtheadoptionofaDistrictCharterCompactshouldhavebeenmoretransparent.
25. ThearchivedrecordsmadeavailabletoQUESTunderthePublicRecordsActalbeitnotfully
responsivegiventheCitysdecisionstowithholdandtheBPS/BSCdecisiontoredactandnot

SeeCPSwebsitewww.citizensforpublicschools.organdcommentsofMarilynSegal,itsformerDirector
whotestifiedatthemeetingoftheBostonSchoolCommitteeSeptember19,2011beforethebodyvotedon
theactionitem.

25

12

provideallitemsrequestedincludeaseriesofdifferentdraftsofthecompactdocument.Aclose
readingofthedocumentsclearlyillustratethatoriginalCompact,approvedandsignedinSeptember
2011,differsinseveralsubstantiverespectsfromearlierdraftsthattheBostonSchool
SuperintendentpresentedtotheCommitteeinAprilandSeptember2,7and9.Thetextofthe
September19,2011document(nowcommonlyisreferredtoastheoriginalCompact), 26the
Superintendentexplained,hadbeenupdatedtorespondtoSchoolCommitteequestionsaswellas
incorporaterecommendationsfromlegalcounsel.27TheredlineddraftoftheCompact28 strikesout
textintheSectionentitledStrategiesthatwouldhavehadBPSandtheBostonCharterSchool
AllianceestablishanOfficeofCompactAgreementasaneutralnonprofitorganization[to]serveas
thegoverningbody.InlieuthereofandapparentlyinlightofquestionsraisedbyCitizensforPublic
SchoolsandonememberoftheCommittee,theCityagreedtoaSteeringCommitteeforthe
compactthatwillbechargedwithtransparentoversightofsharedinitiatives,collaborative
problemsolvingandsecuringanddistributingfinancialresourcesforsharedwork.29Moreover,the
Cityaddedanewclarifyingsentence:PolicyrecommendationsgeneratedintheSteering

26

Acopyoftheexecutedoriginal12pageDistrictCharterCompactandActionPlanisavailableat:
http://www.bostoncompact.org/wpcontent/uploads/2011Compact.pdf(lastvisitedJanuary26,2016)

27
MemotoBSCfromSupt.CarolJohnsonSept.9,2011DistrictCharterCompactUpdateandResponses
toSchoolCommitteeQuestionsatpage1.

28
MemotoBSCfromSupt.CarolJohnsonSept.9,2011DistrictCharterCompactUpdateandResponses
toSchoolCommitteeQuestionswitharedlineddraftattached.

29
September9,2011redlineddraftCompactpage23.Andsee,MemotoBSCfromSupt.CarolJohnson
Sept.9,2011DistrictCharterCompactUpdateandResponsestoSchoolCommitteeQuestion21(The
officeiscomprisedofvolunteerSteeringCommittee,withtheBostonEducationDevelopmentFoundation
servingasfiscalsponsor.TheofficeisbeingfundedwithayearlongplanninggrantfromtheGates
Foundation($12,000todatewithanexpected$88,000tofollowafterformalannouncementofthecompact.)
TheGatesFoundationwillannouncearequestforamultimillion,tobedeterminedgrantinDecember2011
forwhichBostonwillapply.Weknowlocalfoundationsarealsointerestedandlikelytosupport,ifasked.

Asforcompactofficestaffing,theDeputySuperintendentwouldserveasthecochairoftheSteering
Committee,whichanticipateshavingquarterlymeetings,andwouldsetthemeetingagendasinadvanceof
themeetings.Theofficewouldbestaffedbyaparttimeconsultant/facilitator,whowouldcoordinate,
facilitateandoverseefollowupfromcommitteemeetings,andalsodraftdocumentsasneeded.The
consultantreportsdirectlytotheCoChairsandSteeringCommittee.

13

CommitteewillbebroughttotheBostonSchoolCommitteeandcharterboardsasappropriate.30In
asentencethatfollows,theCityclarifiedthecompositionoftheSteeringCommitteeinseveral
respects:(1)byrevisingthetexttosubstitutetheactiveverbappointforthemorepassive
descriptorhavesoastoclarifythatmunicipalofficialsinBPSwouldselectitsrepresentativesto
theSteeringCommitteeand(2)byaddingamodifiersoastoclarifythatitsrepresentativestothe
SteeringCommitteewouldbestaff(i.e.municipalemployeesasdistinctfromstudents,parentsor
communityvolunteers)and(3)addingspecificityaboutshareddecisionmakingandvotingsothe
finaltextreadsasfollows:TheBPSandBostonAllianceofCharterSchoolswilleachappoint5
staffrepresentativestotheSteeringCommittee,eachofwhomwillhaveanequalvote.TheCity
alsoaddedanewsentencemandatingtheperiodicityandfrequencyoftheSteeringCommittees
meetings:TheSteeringCommitteewillmeetquarterly.TheoriginalCompactalsoprovidedthe
SchoolCommitteewiththeassurancethatatleastoneoftheSteeringCommitteestwoCoChairs
beamunicipalofficial:Forthefirst2yearterm,BPSDeputySuperintendentMichaelGoarand
AllianceofBostonCharterSchoolsChairKevinAndrewswillserveasCoChairs.
26. TheoriginalCompact,asapprovedbyavoteoftheSchoolCommitteeandasdistinctfromearlier
drafts,wassignedbyMayorMenino,BostonSchoolCommitteeChairRev.GregoryGroover,and
theBPSSuperintendentCarolJohnsonandrepresentativesofdifferentcharterschoolson
September20,2011.Theexecuteddocumentspeaksforitselfandisthebestevidenceofthe
SteeringCommitteesstatusasapublicbodysubjecttotheOpenMeetingLaw.
27. OnApril30,2012,theSuperintendentandAreaSuperintendentfortheArchdioceseofBoston,the
RegionalDirectorPopePaulII,thePresidentofChristoReyHighSchool,thePrincipalofSacred
HeartHighSchoolcommittedtoandsignedatwopageAddendumtothe2011theDistrictCharter
Compactspellingout5commitmentsofferedbytheCatholicsectorsignatories.31Lateron
November21,2012oftheSmithLeadershipAcademy(Charter)signedaonepageAddendum

30

September9,2011redlineddraftCompactpage3.

31

AcopyoftheexecutedAddendumoftheCatholicsectorisavailableontheBostonCompactswebsiteat
http://www.bostoncompact.org/wpcontent/uploads/2011Compact.pdf(lastvistiedJanuary27,2015).

14

thatdidnotspelloutanyadditionalcommitmentsbutthatembracestheindividualcommitments
laidoutinthecompactaswellasopportunitiestoworkwiththedistrictandCatholicschools.32
28. Oninformationandbelief,thesignatoriestotheorginalDistrictCharterCompactdocumentdidnot
reexecutedthedocumentin2012.Oninformationandbelief,itwasnotuntilJuly15,2015thatthe
SteeringCommitteeformallyadoptedbylaws.Seeinfra.
29. OnJanuary29,2014,theInterimSuperintendentwhosucceededSuperintendentJohnson
presentedtheBostonSchoolCommitteewithanUpdateontheBostonCompact.Hiscover
memorandumexplainedthataftertheDistrictCharterCompactwassignedin2011,theCompact
hasexpandedtoincludeCatholicschoolsinBoston.33TheaccompanyingPowerPointmaterials
identifiedthenextphaseofCompactworktoprioritize(1)UniversalEnrollmentfordistrictand
charterschoolstoshareanenrollmentsystem,(2)Recruitment,DevelopmentandRetentionof
EducatorsofColorand(3)Accesstofacilitiesandadequateresourcesforfacilityimprovements.He
identifiedhisseniorstaffpersonBPSKimRice,whocurrentlyisChiefOperatingOfficerforBPS,as
thegovernmentofficialinvolvedwithaligningthenewBPShomebasedassignmentlotterysystem
withUniversalEnrollment.
30. OnApril17,2015theBostonDistrictCharterCompacthadameetingatCityHallwithMayor
Meninossuccessor,theHonorableMayorMartinJ.Walsh,toamongotherthingsaddressthe
challengesofleadershiptransitionandthepotentialforformalizingrelationshipwithCityHall
withrespecttoasocalledCompact2.0,afterreviewingthepurposeandhistoryoftheoriginal
BostonCompact.34

32

AcopyofthesecondexecutedAddendumisavailableontheBostonCompactswebsiteat
http://www.bostoncompact.org/wpcontent/uploads/2011Compact.pdf(lastvistiedJanuary27,2015).

33
MemotoBSCfromInterimSupt.JohnMcDonoughJan.299,2014UpdateontheBostonCompactand
attachedPowerPointpresentation.

34
SeeMeetingAgendaprovidedinresponsetoQUESTsPublicRecordsRequesttotheMayorsChiefof
Education.

15

31. OnJuly15,2015theBostonCompactSteeringCommitteeheldaclosedmeetingfrom811amin
BostonCityHallRoom608.35Theagenda(s)andmaterialsproducedinresponsetoQUESTs
PublicRecordsRequest,indicatethattheSteeringCommitteedeliberatedaboutthefollowingitems:
NewCompactContent Discussgoals,measures,andcommitments(including
financial)
a.

Draft2015Compact

b.

Draft20152016WorkPlan

AdoptBylaws .DiscussMembershipofPartnerships&GovernanceSubcommittees
GovernanceSubcommitteeneedstobe100%repopulated.

EmergentIssue(s)

PartnershipProposal,subcommitteechairsforpartnerships(Ali/Kate?)

andGovernance(Jon?)

AdditionalseatsforcharterexpansioninBoston

AttachmentsSCbios,subcommitteeupdates,draftcompact(includingachartofgoals,
strategiesandtimeline),proposedbylaws(eachsectortovetwithcounselandstaffwith
PICprior?)(Partnershipproposal?)

Amongthesubcommitteeupdates,recordsindicatetheMayors&thechartersectors
priorityforaction:
EnrollBoston
InadvanceoftheSeptemberevent,theEnrollBostonteamhasreconvened.We
areorientingnewmemberstothecurrentproposal,selectingavendortohelpwith
strategiccommunications(whoisprewiredbywhom,when,howtheproposalis
framedwiththemedia,etc.)andwillselectanorganizationtohelpwiththe
communityengagementprocessshortly.Whileweexpectagooddealofpublic
attentiononthisproposalduringthedeal,wealsowillbefurtherdevelopingthe
policyproposalsaroundtheenrollmentofstudentswithdisabilities,ELLS,and
governanceofthesystem.

OperationsSubcommittee

35

SeeMeetingAgendaandaccompanyingmaterialsincludingUpdatefromSubcommittee(pages

911narrative,page1213membership)

16

TheOperationsSubcommitteeendedtheschoolyearbyreviewingprogress
towardgoalsandmakingafewnewrecommendation.Amongrecommendations
adopted:

Establishaparallelprocesstocompilefacilitiesinformationfrom
charterandCatholicschoolssothattheBPSFacilitiesMaster
PlanprocesscanintegrateallthreesectorandplanfortheCityin
acoordinatedmanner.Staffbelievewehavefundersreadyto
supportthispieceofwork

Conveneasmallergroupofkeyrepresentativesfromeachsector
toreviewandrevisedrafttemplatesforcrosssectorleasesand
colocations.

Surveycharterschoolsannuallytodeterminewhetherthereare
challengesweneedtoaddressinthetransferofstudentrecords.

PilotprovidingbufferMBTApassestocharterandCatholic
schools.

ContinuewithannualcalendarforprovidingBPSTransportation
enrollmentinformation.

TheSubcommitteeisawaitingfeedbackfromlegalcounselaboutwhetherwecan
holdatrisectorhighschoolshowcaseofschoolsthisfall. 36

32. Oninformationandbelief,theSteeringCommitteeofficiallyadoptedbylawsonJuly15,2015.37
33. Oninformationandbelief,manymeetingsoftheSteeringCommittee,theExecutiveCommittee,and
thesubcommitteesoccurredwithoutpublicnoticetotheCityClerkorrecordedminutesbetween
July2015andthepresent.TheExecutiveCommitteemetmonthly38theSteeringCommitteemet
atleasttwoorthreetimes39 theOperationssubcommitteemetbimonthly,40asdidtheGovernance

36

UpdatesforSteeringCommitteeJuly5,2015Pages910.

37

SeedocumententitledBylawsoftheBostonCompactSteeringCommitteeAdoptedJuly15,2015
(hereinbylaws)

38
BylawsArticleIISection2.1TheExecutiveCommitteeshallmeetmonthly.

39
BylawsArticleIIISection3.3TheSteeringCommitteeshallmeetmonthlyandmayscheduleadditional
meetingsasneeded.

40
BylawsArticleIVSection4.2.1.

17

subcommittee41theTeachingandLearningsubcommittee,42 andtheSchoolPartnerships
subcommittee. 43
34. TheSteeringCommitteeandAdHocEnrollBostonsubcommitteeandOperationssubcommittee
metandcontinuetomeetoutofpublicviewtodeliberateissuesthatwouldotherwiseoccurinopen
meetingsofaschoolboardtaskforcebutwithoutnoticetotheCityClerkorthepublicandwithout
recordedminutes.ConfidentialworkinprogressrecordsobtainedbyQUESTunderthePublic
RecordsActrevealCompactdeliberationsthatareunderwaytofoldcharterschoolsintothenew
Bostonschoolchoicelotterywithmaps,graphs,unresolvedequityissuessimilartothosemade
publicduringtheopenmeetingsoftheExternalAdvisoryCommitteeandtheSchoolQuality
WorkingGroup(lotterypreferencesforgeographyandschoolquality,definitionofschoolquality
tiers,howtoassignspecialpopulations,howtoaccommodatechoiceanddisciplinarytransfer
students,andlatecomers,waitlists),aswellasunresolvedfiscalandgovernanceissues(whether
touseoftheexistingBPSsystemadministratororaDistrictCharterExecutiveBoardfor
administeringschoolassignmentswiththeexplicitcaveatthatTheExecutiveBoarddoesnottake
theplaceoftheSchoolCommitteeoracharterschoolboard.Itactstooverseepolicyand
administrativeissuesastheyarise,withresponsibilitiesdefinedinaMOUthattheSchool
Committeemustapprove.44)
35. MeanwhilebetweenOctober8andNovember17,2015theMayorsChiefofEducationtogether
withstafftotheCompactsAdHocEnrollBostonsubcommitteehostedsevencommunitymeetings
/focusgroupsfacilitatedbyoutsideconsultantstogetfeedbackfromparentsandcommunity

41

BylawsArticleIVSection4.2.2.

42

BylawsArticleIVSection4.2.3.

43

BylawsArticleIVSection4.2.4.

44

TheConfidentialWorkinProgressProposalforUniversalEnrollmentPages18.

18

residentsontheMayorsEnrollBostonproposal.45QUESTmembersparticipatedinsomeofthese
communitymeetingsandsurveys.
36. OnJanuary4,2016IemailedstaffwhofacilitatemeetingsoftheSteeringCompactasfollows:
GreetingsforthestartoftheNewYear.Canyoukindlyinformmeofthetimeandplaceforthe
BostonCompact'sannualandquarterlymeetingsandmeetingsofitssubcommittees?

OnJanuary7,2016staffreplied:
Happy2016toyou!
WewillbepostingminutesfromallSteeringCommitteeandsubcommitteemeetingson
line.
29.OnJanuary19,2016,MayorWalshinhisStateoftheCityaddresssuggeststherewillbemany
upcomingmeetingsoftheBostonCompactSteeringCommitteeandsubcommitteesbetweennowandJune
30,particularitygiventheMayorspriorityforaunifiedstudentenrollmentsystem:

Tonight,I'mcallingoneveryonetocometogethertobackallourchildren,allourteachers,andall
ourschools.Thatmeansfairandsustainablefundingforbothdistrictandcharterschools.Itmeans
exploringaunifiedenrollmentsystemthatcouldhelpfamiliesandleveltheplayingfieldamong
schools.Thisspringwewilldeepentheenrollmentconversation,toaddresschallengesinspecial
education,languageservices,disciplinepolicies,andtransportation.46

37. OnJanuary21,2015,IaskedtheMayorsChiefofEducationwhethertheBostonCompactSteering
Committeewouldpostagendasandopenitsmeetingstothepublic.Heinformedmethatthe
SteeringCommitteehadmetthepriorweek(theweekofJanuary11th)butdidnotgettothese
issues.

45

SeepostingsonBostonCompactswebsite.
http://www.bostoncompact.org/communitymeetingschedule/
46
TheMayorsStateoftheCityAddressispostedontheCityswebsiteat:
http://www.cityofboston.gov/news/Default.aspx?id=20494(lastvisitedJanuary27,2016)

19

38. Oninformationandbelief,asofJanuary27,2016nominutesoftheJanuary2016meetingofthe
SteeringCommitteehavebeenposted.Oninformationandbelief,sincetheSteeringCommittees
November13,2015votetopostminutes,onlyonesetofminutesareposted.
39. Oninformationandbelief,theBostonCompactSteeringCommitteeanditssubcommitteeswillbe
gatheringinformationandholdingunnoticed,closedmeetingsthiswinterandspringtoultimately
makerecommendationsonhowtocollaboratedistrictandcharterschoolassignmentsinaunified
enrollmentsystemforpresentationtoBostonSchoolCommitteeandCharterSchoolBoardswill
voteonwhethertooptintothe[EnrollBoston]systembyJune.47

REQUESTFORRELIEF

QUESTrespectfullyrequeststhatthetheOfficeoftheAttorneyGeneralDivisionofOpen
GovernmentissueaformalorderwithadeclarationthattheBostonCompactSteeringCommitteeisa
publicbodyandorder:
(a)ImmediateandfuturecompliancewithM.G.L.c.30A,sec.1825
(b)AttendanceatatrainingsessionauthorizedbytheAttorneyGeneral
(c)Thatagendasbepostedatleast48hoursinadvanceofmeetingsontheCityClerksandBostonSchool
DepartmentwebsitesinadditiontoanypostingsontheBostonCompactswebsite
(d)ThatminutesofofallSteeringandsubcommitteemeetingsberecordedandretainedinanorderly
fashionforretrieval,
(e)ThatmeetingminutesandmaterialsbemadepublicincludingthroughpromptpostingsontheBoston
Compactswebsitewithin10daysofameetingandmadeavailable,uponrequest.
(e)Thatthebodycomplywiththeregulatoryrequirementsforquorumsandremoteparticipation,
(f)Andsuchotherreliefasisjustandproper.

47

BostonCollegiateCharterBoardofTrusteesDecember5,2015meetingTopic4TheMayorsProposalfor
UnifiedEnrollmentTacticsandTimeTable(OMLmaterialspage43)
20


RespectfullySubmitted

PeggyA.Wiesenberg
33SeavernsAvenue
JamaicaPlain,MA02130
(617)7636689
BBO527420

January27,2016

Verification
I,PeggyA.Wiesenberg,declareunderthepainsandpenaltiesofperjurythatthefactualallegations
containedhereinaretrueandaccuratetothebestofmyknowledgeandbelief.
.

21