An Education Plan to Recover from the Pandemic and Refocus Education on Our Children & Teachers

 

Executive Summary

Education is the great equalizer, and all children in New York City should have access to a high-quality education that prepares them for employment, society, and a lifetime of productive, engaged citizenry.

But for decades, our education system has failed to provide our children with an equal opportunity to succeed. Despite the $38 billion allocated to the Department of Education annually, our City is not spending its budget effectively. [1] School closures, underfunded programs, overcrowded classrooms, caps on accelerated programs, and a lack of school choice have all contributed to poor educational outcomes for New York City children.

Upon graduation from New York City public schools, every child should have a developed, real-world skill that enables them to obtain a job, start a business, or pursue higher education. To finally give all of our children an equal opportunity to succeed, I am calling for a comprehensive overhaul of our education system from K-12 and beyond.

The New York City public school system is the largest public school system in the country, and the Mayor of NYC and his chancellor are at the helm. With this authority, the Mayor of NYC can improve not only K-12 education, but higher education as well given the Mayor’s control over the CUNY higher education system. In addition to a comprehensive overhaul of K-12, I am also calling for the creation of Three-Year College Degree Pathways to help make college more financially accessible for New York City residents.

In conjunction with CUNY and New York State legislators, I will work to advance legislation requiring all New York City public colleges and universities to offer three-year college degree programs based on attaining real-world skills and competencies, rather than arbitrary credit requirements. In effect, this will save NYC residents a full year of college tuition and allow them to begin earning a salary one year earlier. My Three-Year College Degree Pathways program will significantly improve the financial position of college graduates, saving them an average of $53,188. [2]

Improving K-12 Education in New York City

The main goal of my “Plan for Reforming K-12 Education” is to deconstruct the NYC Department of Education and return the focus and power to our students and teachers. To achieve this goal, I will implement my 12-Point Plan for reform:

    1. Reopen our schools and keep them open throughout the end of July,
    2. Refocus education on individualized teaching and smaller class sizes,
    3. Improve working conditions and salaries for teachers,
    4. Expand after-school programs and incentivize community involvement through new tax credit programs,
    5. Empower parents by expanding school choice, increasing the number of charter schools, and promoting the development of more independent private schools and religious schools,
    6. Increase the number of accelerated and gifted programs throughout New York City,
    7. Expand vocational and professional training in all high schools and after-school programs, including a new focus on financial literacy,
    8. Provide dedicated annual funding to support after-school and Saturday programs for NYC’s 200,000 students with disabilities,
    9. Bring NYC into the twenty-first century by providing every child with access to modern technology and by expanding STEM programs,
    10. Introduce an “Advancing Community Education” (ACE) program to assist working families with purchasing school supplies for their children,
    11. Implement an annual “Back-To-School” Sales Tax Holiday to make school supplies more affordable for children and teachers, and
    12. Re-evaluate and eliminate wasteful Department of Education contracts, positions, and budget items.
nicole malliotakis for mayor
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[1] https://www.schools.nyc.gov/about-us/funding/funding-our-schools

[2] The financial position of + $53,188 is calculated by adding the annual cost of tuition at a NYC public school (CUNY: $6,930/year, see www.cuny.edu/financial-aid/tuition-and-college-costs/tuition-fees/) and the average starting salary of a student graduate in NYC, which a student would begin earning one year earlier in my program ($46,258 average starting salary, see https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/Student-Graduate-Salary-in-New-York-City,NY#:~:text=As%20of%20May%204%2C%202021,%2Fweek%20or%20%243%2C855%2Fmonth.

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