Mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio is setting out four priorities in a speech this morning at CUNY’s new Institute for Education Policy, led by former State Education Commissioner David Steiner. Here they are, according to a press release from the de Blasio campaign:
100 New Community Schools in Four Years
Schools can be more than just places of education – they can be vital epicenters of the community where students and their families receive the services they need. Bill de Blasio’s plan will streamline government bureaucracy and work with community stakeholders to develop 100 new community schools in his first term.
Great Leaders to Lead Great Teachers in Every School
Great schools need to be led by great leaders. Bill de Blasio’s plan will create a career ladder for new principals that have proven leadership potential and provide them with the resources and support they require to succeed. For those schools that are struggling, a Strategic Staffing Initiative will dedicate additional resources to the facilities that need it most.
Create Truly Universal Pre-K
Bill de Blasio is the only candidate for mayor who has called for truly universal pre-K, and a tax on the wealthy to pay for it. We cannot get education right if we do not get it right from the beginning. When one-in-six who are not reading at grade level by third grade do not graduate from high school on time, we have to start reaching children earlier. That’s why de Blasio’s plan asks the wealthiest New Yorkers to pitch in just a little bit more, allowing the city to provide pre-K to every four-year-old. This simple measure is essential to making sure all students start off on a more even playing field and begin closing the stubborn achievement gaps that continue to hold too many of our children back.
Expand After-School Programs for Middle School Students
Middle school is a critical and often challenging time for students. Bill de Blasio’s plan significantly expands access to the vital after-school programs that address the academic, social, and emotional needs of our middle schoolers and provide them with a safe alternative to often uncertain streets.
Most of the proposals are ones that de Blasio has made before. For example, he pledged back in October to raise taxes on New Yorkers earning over $500,000 a year to pay for an expansion of pre-K and after-school programs. And most of the Democratic candidates have pledged to support the community schools model, which the teachers union favors. But the new proposals appear to offer greater specificity and touch on some areas of education policy, such as principal training, that de Blasio has not spoken extensively about before.
We’ll have a full report about de Blasio’s proposals later today.