Arroyo: School committee student rep should vote

March 29, 2013
By

At-Large City Councilor Felix Arroyo, who lives in Jamaica Plain, has filed a hearing order with City Councilor Frank Baker that would give voting power to the student representative on the Boston School Committee.

“It just seems right,” said Arroyo in a recent Gazette interview.

He said the student representatives can speak during a committee meeting, but said that “the big flaw is that when the members vote, [the student representatives] have to sit on their hands.”

Arroyo said that the student representative from the Boston Student Advisory Committee (BSAC)—currently Dan Chu—represents on the school committee more than 56,000 students who attend Boston Public Schools (BPS). He said members of BSAC have expressed a desire for the voting power so the position would have accountability.

Arroyo said he has heard about the idea of student voting power before, but what prompted a hearing order was when it was brought up during a previous council meeting. Arroyo said he and Baker looked at each other and said, “This is the right thing to do.”

A hearing date has not been scheduled, but Arroyo said it is in the works. He said there is “good interest” among other councilors about the measure. Arroyo said if the council passes the measure, at a minimum it will need to be approved by BPS and might need state approval as well.