John D. O'Bryant, beginning his third year as a member, became the first black elected president of the Boston School Committee at its organizational meeting Jan. 5, Monitor correspondent Luix Overbea reports. He was voted into office on the first ballot, receiving the support of retiring president John McDonough. In 1977 Mr. O'Bryant became the first black elected on the committee in the 20th century. He was reelected in 1979.
The school committee, run under the eye of US District Judge W. Arthur Garrity, is under court orders to desegregate its schools. It must also deal with selecting a permanent superintendent, balancing a budget that may require the spending of $60 million in unappropriated funds t hrough two court suits, and closing 25 schools in September.