Center racial equity in policy and budget decisions for public education to bring about a more racially just school system. I fully support and endorse the New Yorkers for Racially Just Public Schools (RJPS) platform.
Our public elementary and secondary schools are where young learners spend the majority of time outside of their homes and should be a place where they are nurtured, challenged to grow, and supported. However, New York City’s public schools remain among the most segregated and unequal in the nation. Too many of our schools are under-resourced and overcrowded and too many make students unsafe by enforcing racially unjust disciplinary policies. Students of color, students with special needs, and students with diverse language backgrounds continue to lack adequate resources and attention.
Our public university system, the City University of New York (CUNY), should ensure that working-class people of color, new immigrants, and first-generation college students can access a high-quality affordable college education. Yet the Stateʼs and Cityʼs disinvestment in CUNY has resulted in larger class sizes, increasingly unaffordable tuition and fees, and crumbling infrastructure that puts students and workers at risk. The City has the ability to reallocate funds to make CUNY schools tuition-free and invest in programs that reflect our values and hopes for our public education systems.
COVID-19 has exacerbated the existing inequities within our public schools and further disenfranchised students with special needs, multilingual learners, and those with food and housing insecurity. The shift to remote learning has had an impact on all students and their families, especially those who lack access to internet and technology devices.
In advocating for public education, we must address the decades-long racial and economic divestment that our students of color and low-income New Yorkers have had to bear. I will fight to make sure our public schools and colleges receive the resources they need. I will center and engage families and local community groups who work for education justice to bring about a more racially just public education system. We need to reimagine a public education system that truly addresses generations of racial inequity; dismantles the school to prison pipeline; and values neurodiversity, linguistic diversity, and supports all teachers and education workers.
I pledge to:
Engage youth, parents, educators and advocates as key partners and leaders in decision-making at all levels, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized families.