NEW YORK — Students and families in the nation’s second-largest city are still struggling to access public education, despite a state education department plan to make sure students in public schools have access to a full slate of public services.
State officials are calling for a “new and innovative approach” that includes “high-quality education” and is aimed at making sure students have access “to a full and effective curriculum.”
The plan is to be released Tuesday, a day after Gov.
Andrew Cuomo is scheduled to release his new budget.
The New York State Education Department says the department’s Education Resources Management Services team will review the plans and provide recommendations to the governor, who has been critical of the state’s “disparate impact” on minority students.
“This is not a partisan issue,” said a department spokesman, “and the governor has consistently made clear that the state is committed to improving educational opportunities for all students.”
The plan calls for an expansion of early education, an expansion in kindergarten through high school, a high-quality public library system, and expansion of kindergarten through grade 12, which is currently limited to kindergarten through fifth grade.
The plan also calls for “the creation of an integrated student resource, which will help to improve academic outcomes and support students’ learning and learning-disability skills.”
In a press release, Cuomo called the plan “a first step toward achieving the goals we have set for New York to be a truly global leader in education.”
He said that by making education a priority, the plan would help create “an environment where every child can have the opportunity to succeed.”
He continued: “This is a new approach that I think will help us to improve educational outcomes for all New Yorkers, particularly in our neighborhoods and schools.”
The announcement comes amid a national trend of focusing on “diversity and inclusion” to address racism and class inequality, and a backlash against the lack of access to education for African-American students in some parts of the country.
The new plan will also be part of a broader push by Cuomo and his administration to expand the state and national educational system.
The governor is expected to release a $400 million state budget in the coming weeks.
It would be the largest budget in state history, and the first time in state budget history that Cuomo has not cut spending, according to the New York Times.
The state’s $2.3 billion budget will include $75 million in additional funding for public schools and other services, $45 million in funding for early childhood education, and $23 million in a new state program to help parents and children navigate the transition from school to work.
The department will also create a $1 million fund to help pay for early-childhood education and $50 million for a scholarship program to aid families that are not able to pay tuition at community colleges.