More than one million children in our city depend on the New York City Public School system to provide them with a quality education that will prepare them to be functional, successful adults. A lifetime of low paying jobs, poor health and substandard living conditions await kids who do not receive a proper education.
I have always been and will continue to remain an ardent supporter of the hard working men and women who educate our children, which is why I believe that fully funding our public education system must be our number one priority. Most importantly, our commitment to education must begin with the restoration of the $1.4 billion in education cuts.
There has been much discussion about borrowing up to $2 billion a year for the next three years to balance the state’s budget. While I believe that we must be extremely cautious in our approach to balancing our budget based on short term borrowing against future revenues, if we decide to pursue this proposal, the money should be earmarked for the restoration of education funding. If we are going to borrow money, it should be invested in the education of our children.
Just last year, Newcomers High School in Queens, which only accepts students who have arrived in the county in the past year, ranked in the top 10 of the U.S. News & World Report’s list of the nation’s best 100 high schools.
Clearly, we know how to educate our kids. What is lacking is the financial support, adequate facilities and resources for our children to learn. We cannot expect children to foster in classrooms that are overcrowded, with substandard materials and outdated technology. We cannot continue to ask our teachers to do more with less. If we can dump millions of dollars into failed financial institutions and stadiums, surely we can prioritize our children.
We cannot afford to waste any more opportunities that encourage improving our schools, rewarding our teachers and providing the best possible education for our children. It is time to do the right thing for our kids. It is a sacrifice we all can afford to make.