Improving Our Schools
I have advocated my entire career to bring more funding to our schools and I’ll make sure the Bronx isn’t left behind. Students need access to technology, modernized facilities and I have allocated over $20M towards the renovations of cafeterias, gymnasiums, auditoriums, science labs and playgrounds. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to invest in social-emotional learning, trauma informed care and holistic services for our children and families who are learning remotely with blended learning.
Improving School Technology in the Classroom & at Home
From working with parent advocates, coordinators, educators, union advocates, during COVID, I know many have struggled with remote and blended learning. Struggles with internet access and quality at home are widespread. It’s crucial to focus on ways to support schools and creative work that is done as well.
We must create a pipeline to 21st century technology including: Chromebooks, iPads, and laptops, as well as modernized facilities within schools, including updates to cafes, auditoriums and gymnasiums. These technologies and modernized facilities will help create a better learning environment for our students and teachers.
As Borough President, I will prioritize the technological needs of our students and teachers across the Bronx.
Funding Capital Projects
As chair of the Subcommittee on Capital Budget, I've had a direct role in new school construction for both new buildings and renovations to existing schools. We must continue to invest in our schools so that the facilities remain up to date and teachers are able to successfully educate our young people.
Making Schools Work for our Students
Schools are the center of many student's lives, and the use of innovative programs like Community Schools means more greater success for our young people. We need more holistic programs that include important components such as art, musical theater, cooking, and creative ideas such as a health and science center like those at CS 55. Providing services like healthcare means students will be healthier and more likely to be successful. I'll also fight to ensure our schools are able to provide safe spaces after the school day ends.
As a Council Member, I have been proud to support efforts to bring school based health centers in our district and throughout the Bronx. Health, dental and vision care for our students is an important priority for the borough. There is a correlation between health, wellness, education and stable housing.
As Borough President, I will work to expand these initiatives all across the Bronx alongside stakeholders, unions, food advocates and others to create more healthcare hubs in our public schools.
I have also been proud to support food advocates in expanding universal food access, including breakfast and lunch for all students in need. No students should ever sit in a classroom on an empty stomach, yet too many in temporary housing go to school without access to food. Universal breakfast and lunch provide the opportunity for all students to receive a meal regardless of economic status. As Borough President I will strongly advocate for expanding this program to ensure it reaches all schools, especially ones where the majority are eligible for free or reduced lunch. As a strong supporter of the program that implemented a pilot halal and kosher meals program in our public schools, I am a strong supporter and will advocate for the expansion of this program that recognizes the cultural diversity of our communities and our Borough.
During the pandemic, we recognize the trauma associated with remote learning and the disruption as a result for our families. We must invest in holistic services, healing centers and trauma-informed care for our students and support for our families. As a supporter of choice, I believe our parents are best prepared to make decisions on their children’s education and will support efforts to invest in our non-public schools, charter schools, parochial and private schools.