“The city of Boston has a golden opportunity, with a new Mayor and a new City Council, to fix the assignment plan so that every child is guaranteed first choice of their neighborhood school” Keogh said. Despite the promises made over the years, the current assignment plan still does not guarantee parents their neighborhood school choice, forcing many parents to leave the city as well as the Boston Public Schools. “A Neighborhood School choice assignment plan will be my priority,” said Keogh.
If elected, Keogh plans on holding neighborhood meetings across the city to share and build upon his Neighborhood Schools plan, as well as get feedback from parents. Under his plan, Keogh would ensure that each child is guaranteed their neighborhood school over all other applicants. However, in order for children to get their neighborhood school choice, the city will have to build more schools in those neighborhoods. Keogh would identify all of the vacant and available lots that the BRA and the Department of Neighborhood Development can build a school on, lobby for more funding through state, federal, private and bond issuing agencies, work with local unions to become involved in and build the schools, and require the school department to remove all barriers that prevent a child from going to their neighborhood school.
Under Keogh’s plan, parents can still choose a school outside their neighborhood, but preference for any school would be guaranteed to neighborhood children first. “Whether parents want to send their kid to the school across the street, or to a school across town, I want them to be able to have that choice” Keogh said. Parents from West Roxbury, Hyde Park and East Boston, to Downtown, Dorchester and South Boston want neighborhood schools. They want choice. Why isn’t anyone talking about this?” Keogh asked.
Keogh also recognizes that Neighborhood Schools have to have an equally excellent educational curriculum and teachers, as well as extracurricular activities such as music, arts, sports and trade programs. “We have to ensure that all of children are getting an equal education, no matter what school they attend. And we have to make sure that our students have options, activities or opportunities that keep them in school, and prepare them for college or the workforce” Keogh finished.
Keogh is a candidate for the Boston City Council at-Large. As part of his platform to build a better Boston, Keogh supports neighborhood schools, safer neighborhoods and creating more housing for city workers and residents. Keogh is a resident of West Roxbury where he lives with his wife Pamela and their 2-year-old son Nolan. The Keogh’s are expecting their second child in November.