Pilot program launched to provide free menstrual supplies to BPS students
Building on Boston's commitment to ensure Boston Public School students have every resource they need to learn, thrive and succeed, Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston Public Schools today announced the launch of a pilot program that will bring free menstrual supplies to 77 BPS schools throughout the district. This program will start in the fall of the 2019 school year.
"This pilot program is about equity in our schools, and among our young people," said Mayor Walsh. "Nearly one in five girls in the U.S. have left school early, or missed school all together because they didn't have access to menstrual products. I'm proud BPS continues to be a leader in equity, ensuring our students have the resources they need, and access to the same opportunities."
The pilot will include all 77 schools that teach students in grades 6 to 12. BPS School Health Services will order the menstrual products centrally and distribute them to the school nurses' offices at the beginning of the school year and as needed throughout the year. After the initial pilot, nurses will partner with selected teachers who will also give out menstrual supplies.
"I'm grateful to Mayor Walsh for funding this important program, and making sure that girls in BPS don't have to choose between taking care of their health, and going to class," said Laura Perille, Interim BPS Superintendent. "Offering free, easily accessible menstrual supplies means that more students will have access to the supplies they need, and are able to stay in class and focus on their education."
The $100,000 investment for the pilot program was part of Mayor Walsh's FY20 budget, resubmitted to the Boston City Council today.
Mayor Walsh's FY20 resubmitted budget also increased the BPS appropriation by an additional $38.7 million to a total of $1.177 billion after the successful completion of the collective bargaining agreement between the Boston Teachers Union and the Boston Public Schools. The FY20 BPS budget will grow by $51 Million or 4.5 percent and makes targeted investments that directly support students and families, increases per-pupil spending, supports critical academic investments, and expands access to exam school admissions. The FY20 BPS budget reflects an increase in per-pupil spending by 25 percent over the past six years, from about $16,500 in FY14 to over $20,700 in FY20.