Michelle Wu, Annissa Essaibi-George talk Boston schools on the campaign trail this weekend

Boston schools came into focus as a campaign issue on Sunday as mayoral hopefuls continued to differentiate themselves on their strategies to reform policing amid a crowded candidate field.

City Councilor-at large Michelle Wu, who is making a bid of the fifth-floor corner office defended her “pie in the sky” dreams for Boston schools at an event at the English High School on the heels of releasing her 50-page education plan last week.

“We need a transformational change in Boston,” Wu said, highlighting the need for new buildings, early-childhood education and better wraparound services.

City Councilor-at large and mayoral candidate Annissa Essaibi-George said she is a “proponent of exams for exam schools,” but stressed all schools need to provide a good education.

“We have to make sure that a family does not feel that they have lost if their child doesn’t gain admission to one of our exam schools,” Essaibi-George told Jon Keller on WBZ.

Essaibi-George also challenged Acting Mayor Kim Janey’s policing strategy, saying Boston needs “several hundred more police officers” rather than the 30 proposed by Janey.

The freshly minted acting mayor said last week she would continue to slash overtime in the ballpark of $21 million.

District 4 Councilor and mayoral candidate Andrea Campbell said Sunday on Twitter she’s proposing to redirect $50 million — about 10% of the departments $400 million budget — to the “root causes of violence: trauma, mental health,” and moving people out of poverty.

Other candidates Rep. Jon Santiago and former city economic development chief John Barros did not hold events or interviews on Sunday.

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