The children of the 76th district are suffering at every level of schooling. Overcrowding is a systemic problem that is following our children from pre-k all the way to their high school graduations. The United Federation of Teachers has estimated that “nearly half of New York City’s public schools are more crowded than the teachers’ union contract allows…”
As the mother of two public school kids and PTA mom, Rebecca has personally experienced the fallout from overcrowding in our city’s schools.
Our district has not received its fair share of pre-k seats in the city’s new program – that’s bad for our children and our economy. It is widely recognized that an early start to education is invaluable in the healthy physical and social development of a child. By providing pre-k for our neighborhood’s children, our children can become socially acclimated and parents can return to work. Rebecca plans to create an Early Childhood Council to secure public and private funding for early childhood programs to ensure that the young people in our community receive the attention needed for proper development.
At the middle and high school levels, Rebecca plans to partner with the Department of Education to create temporary and permanent schools to alleviate overcrowding in our classrooms. Long-term, we need to invest in renovating existing schools as well as constructing new ones. But as we set aside the space and money to build, we need to find a way to address the needs of our neighborhood’s children now, even if that means being a little creative. With over 10% of Manhattan’s office space unoccupied, it’s criminal that we’re not using it to educate our children.
This issue is impacting the quality of our children’s education. Rebecca wants to ensure that all Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island kids have the opportunity to attend a good school in their neighborhood. Our community’s children deserve better and Rebecca will do her best to make sure they get it.