“Kaufman Welcomes New METCO CEO Milagros “Milly” Arbaje-Thomas &

Lexington METCO Director Barbara Hamilton”

Representative Jay Kaufman’s award winning public policy forum, “OPEN HOUSE,” hits the books with an in depth look at the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity program, or “METCO”. In this special forum, Rep. Kaufman welcomes new METCO CEO “Milly” Arbaje-Thomas, Lexington METCO Director Barbara Hamilton, along with some current METCO students. The forum, the sixth of the 23rd season, will be held Thursday, March 15th, from 7:00PM-8:00PM at the historic Depot in Lexington Center (13 Depot Square in Lexington Center).

METCO is a voluntary desegregation program unique to the Commonwealth that celebrated its 50th  anniversary last year. Minority students from Boston and Springfield are bused to suburban schools, which often have stronger academic and extracurricular opportunities than their urban counterparts. This school year Lexington has 246 METCO students. Barbara Hamilton has been the director of the METCO program in Lexington since 2010 and has a background in theology, social work, and education. Previously she was an Adjunct Professor at Urban College of Boston. Milly Arbaje-Thomas recently was named the new CEOof METCO. She is the former Director of Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), managing the organization’s antipoverty efforts in the Mattapan, Jamaica Plain, and Fenway/Parker Hill areas. During her time at ABCD she oversaw a dramatic increase in services and number of residents participating in programs, while raising millions of dollars to grow these opportunities. Having hit the ground running, Milly is eager to continue the great work that METCO does and elevate the program to the next level.

What obligations do suburban schools have to their urban counterparts? How and when should we talk about race in our educational system? How does inadequate educational funding factor into the discussion? Is this the best solution to promote equity in educational access? What’s in store for the future of METCO?

Don’t miss this very special event on March 15th, from 7PM-8PM. As always, the forum will take its shape largely from questions from the audience. Questions can also be submitted in advance by email, jay.kaufman@mahouse.gov, or tweet your questions to @repjaykaufman.

 

In 1997, OPEN HOUSE was awarded the prestigious Beacon Award, cable television’s equivalent of an Emmy. The series was also named the best television series by Massachusetts Cable Television Commission. The OPEN HOUSE series is produced through a partnership between Representative Kaufman and LexMedia which records the forums for broadcast in Lexington and Woburn.