Improving Educational Opportunities in Central Brooklyn

From Mar. 2018

During my time as a leadership fellow at the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, I worked to create a support network to improve the educational and social outcomes of low-income families in Central Brooklyn. I saw firsthand how kids in Central Brooklyn are being denied the same quality education as other students across the city.

We need stronger leadership from our elected officials to give our children the best education possible. We need a representative who can fight for our public schools and stand up to the Department of Education for fair funding. We need real investments in better school facilities, technology, innovative educational programs, and science and math education. We can't let Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos stand in the schoolhouse doors to deny our kids the educational opportunities they deserve.

My three Point "Action for Better Schools" Plan:

1. Improve school buildings by addressing infrastructure concerns

From outdated buildings, to lead in drinking water, to a lack of modern technology, our schools don't provide kids with the safe and comfortable learning environment they need. Less than a year ago, it was discovered that the water at schools in Central Brooklyn was contaminated with lead, with PS 289 in Crown Heights having lead levels higher than Flint, Michigan. That is completely unacceptable, and we must ensure schools have the funding to make repairs needed to keep students safe and healthy.

2. Demand accountability and innovation to give kids the educational opportunities they deserve

Across Central Brooklyn, the quality of education available to our children lags behind many other parts of New York City. Public schools need additional funding and support to reach proficiency in math and reading; innovations in charter schools should be more carefully studied to see if they can improve traditional public schools; we need to reinvest in vocational education for kids who do not plan to go to college; and all schools - charters and traditional public schools - must be held to higher standards of education quality.

3. Increase access to resources

As a Congressmember, I would support programs and grant initiatives that make STEM classes, classroom technology, and music and fine arts resources more accessible to all students. By giving students the tools to explore their passions, they will become more well-rounded and learn to love learning.

Our students are relying on us, the adults, to guide them in the right direction and give them the tools to succeed, but until we improve our schools, we are failing them. Our current Representative has stood by as schools in Central Brooklyn have struggled to meet the needs of the community and are in desperate need of support. As your next Representative, I will work hard to bring funding and resources back to Brooklyn so we can get our schools back on track.