For too long Albany has starved our schools.
In fact Albany owes our schools almost $4 billion dollars. We must prioritize our children’s education-it’s an investment in our future. Our community is lucky to have excellent local public schools–imagine their potential if they were fully funded.
- New York State must comply with court-ordered fair student funding as prescribed by law and reduce our class size.
- We must provide culturally appropriate education for all our students.
As a long time public education advocate, I know there are many issues facing our schools right now, but first and foremost we must discuss funding. We have great local public schools, but they have been starved of funds for decades and are now facing disastrous cuts. While economies and budgets may fluctuate, our school system must be protected. We must look to prioritize spending in our schools. Any cuts to our schools have long-ranging effects on our students individually and our communities collectively, so we must work to protect and enhance school funding.
As an almost twenty-year resident of Jackson Heights and as the mother of both English Language Learners and dual language students, I understand the importance of serving the diverse language needs of our students and their families. We must offer more services to these students as they may need additional resources and time to accommodate their additional workload.
For years, I have fought for parent participation, but that can not be done if the engagement is in a language they do not understand. I will fight to make sure that families are provided with translation. Translation services must be offered at every level from the front desk, to the main office, to School Leadership Team meetings.
We must work to strengthen school-family engagement with a focus on multi-pronged approaches and innovative solutions to connect with MLLs/ELLs, immigrant families, and hard-to-reach families. We must look at data to make sure these students are not falling behind. We must give these students the room they need to grow rather than focusing on tests and pushing them to graduate when they are not ready. One of my daughters did not graduate until she was 20 years old. These extra years gave her the time to gain the English language skills he needed to continue on to college.