City Councilor Charles “Chuck” Yancey wants the city to build a new high school in Mattapan, on land near where the old Boston State Hospital used to be.

According to the Dorchester Reporter:

Yancey has been an outspoken proponent of a new Mattapan high school since a 1996 study of the Boston Public School system commissioned by Mayor Thomas Menino concluded that the system lacked about 1,100 high school seats and recommended at least two new high school facilities. Then, as the state prepared to divest the state hospital grounds for redevelopment in 2000, 20 acres were set aside for mandatory educational use.

However, a lot has changed, since then.

For one thing, Boston public school enrollment has continued to fall. In 1996, there were at least 65,000 students in the school system; there are now 57,000 students (a drop of 8%).

In addition, according to the story, the mayor and school department are more focused on building smaller schools. The Mattapan high school would be built to house as many as 1,200 students, and the mayor (and school department) question the need for such a facility.

“If some of you are concerned about why Charles Yancey is focusing so much time on the high school, it’s because I know high school can be the equalizer,” said Yancey this week at a community meeting at the Mildred Avenue school to discuss the potential high school.

I can totally agree with the goal, just not with the suggested method to get there.

(By the way, the state followed through on its plans to divest itself of the property – two new residential developments are under construction, with more on the way, including new elderly- and assisted-living facilities and a YMCA, I believe.)

Source: Yancey makes final push for Mattapan high school – By Patrick McGroarty, Dorchester Reporter

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Updated: 1st Q 2018