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'We Were Listening': Days After Student Walkout, Walsh Calls Off Proposed School Cuts

BOSTON (CBS) – Days after thousands of Boston students walked out of class to protest millions of dollars in proposed budget cuts, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said officials have found a way to avoid reductions at the city's high schools.

Late Monday morning, students walked out of class and marched to the State House as part of a nationwide protest against school budget cuts.

Walsh told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 on Friday that after lengthy conversations with Superintendent of Schools Tommy Chang, the city's high schools will be spared from the proposed cuts.

Boston's mayor reiterated his stance that he wished the students hadn't walked out of class, but he added that their message was heard.

"I'd prefer if the kids stay in school. I commend them for their advocacy," Walsh said. "In this particular case they're going to see the government work for them. Sometimes it can, sometimes it can't. When the high schoolers let their voices be heard, we were listening. That doesn't always mean it can end in a positive manner, but certainly in this case it's going to."

The Boston Globe reported that rather than cutting high school budgets, school officials will delay new programs worth about $6 million. The Globe also reported the School Department will also pull money from district-wide budget items.

"We still have a long-term structural deficit that we have to deal with," Walsh told WBZ NewsRadio. "That's something we'll continue to work on. We're going to continue to move down that road and bring better efficiencies to the school and make sure we spend the taxpayers' money on education the way it should be, and also make sure the kids in our system get the best education they can."

Walsh said the budget adjustments are an ongoing process, but added that sparing the high school cuts was "the right thing to do."

No teachers will lose their jobs due to budget reductions this year, Walsh confirmed.

Despite his objection to students walking out of class, Walsh said the demonstration proved they care about the education they receive in the city.

"What people can take out of that is we do have special kids in our city and special students in our district," Walsh said. "They came from all different schools across the district. It shows there's a lot of good passion in our district."

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens reports

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