For forty-eight years, METCO has been fundamental in transforming the lives of students by providing access to quality education for urban students, harnessing the existing capacity of exceptional school districts, and fostering more diverse classrooms in suburban communities. It is a voluntary program which allows students in certain cities to attend public schools in other communities that have agreed to participate. The METCO program is the nation’s largest and most successful voluntary school desegregation program. Through 190 suburban schools in eastern and western Massachusetts, and 37 participating school districts, METCO will impact 3,336 Massachusetts students of color this year. Moreover, there are currently more than 9,000 students on the active student waiting list – a number that equals nearly one sixth of the total enrollment of the Boston Public Schools.
The METCO program is a proven success, with nearly 100% of METCO seniors passing the MCAS in the past five years, and 87% of METCO graduates going on to college- a figure that is over 10% higher than the state average for college attendance.
This past Tuesday, I was joined by colleagues, parents, superintendents, and friends of the METCO program from all districts as we discussed goals and priorities for the program as we enter the budget season. I am proud to be joined by these individuals as we advocate for funding for this worthwhile educational program.