School-move probe seeks missing data

The Boston Finance Commission (FinComm) investigation into the funding of the Boston Public Schools’ (BPS) controversial plan to move various schools has hit a patch of turbulence. BPS failed to provide key data, according to FinComm, and BPS told the Gazette it never had the information in the first place.

FinComm is investigating the BPS’s plan to renovate and move several schools, including Mission Hill K-8 and New Mission High. Those two schools would move to Jamaica Plain while Fenway High School would replace them at the their old residence at 67 Alleghany St.

FinComm Director Matt Cahill said he requested, but did not receive, additional financial data concerning the BPS’s now-defunct plan to move Boston Latin Academy to the old Hyde Park High School. Superintendent Carol Johnson announced that plan last July, but dropped it in October after opposition from Latin Academy students, parents and teachers.

“They don’t seem to have it. I find it hard to believe,” Cahill said about the school department lacking the financials.

BPS spokesperson Matt Wilder said that the superintendent’s proposal was exactly that, a proposal, so it had no financial information. It was meant to gauge the community’s response, he said.

“Without the support from the community, there was no need for a thorough financial analysis,” said Wilder. “Had the support been there, we would have done the analysis.”

He also said the current BPS plan is different from the Latin Academy-to-Hyde Park proposal and should be viewed as such.

Cahill said he is going to become more aggressive with the matter. And if BPS can’t find the information, he said, he plans to go to the Mayor’s Office.

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