De Blasio proposes school year-round 1

Mayor de Blasio unveiled a statewide education proposal that includes year-round schooling options funded with a wealth tax but questions remain.

After months of sudden education policy announcements, Mayor de Blasio has proposed a new statewide policy that may be part of a run for governor.

Last Thursday, de Blasio proposed implementing year-round school statewide and touted his education record, including universal pre-K.

“We can’t have a school day that doesn’t work for our families’ schedules,” he said in a campaign-style video released on Thursday. “We can’t have summers where parents are stressed and they don’t know what to do with their kid.”

“Every child deserves education throughout the summer, if that’s what works for them,” he said.

The same day, he appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“School for our kids all day, all year, all for free,” he said on the program. “Imagine this, that we can provide — in this state — education for kids that goes until the end of the afternoon, that goes all year round for kids and families that want it, that’s free for all. Talk about addressing all of the challenges and disparities in our society. This would be a first-in-the-nation approach.”

He stopped short of announcing a run for governor. “I’m going to be in public service no matter what,” he said.

On his revamped political website, he detailed the plan. It includes universal 3-K and pre-K, extended programming for elementary, middle and high school students and universal Summer Rising enrichment opportunities.

But some Queens parents are hesitant.

“How about afterschool programs, period? Our school doesn’t have one because of construction and there are very limited private options,” said Jean Hahn, a Rego Park parent who heads the group Queens Parents United.

Yana Semiglazova lives in Forest Hills and her daughter attends PS 303. She feels that the plans are “well-intentioned” but implementation is mismanaged.

She tried to enroll her daughter in Summer Rising but PS 303 did not offer it and the locations that did changed three times over, she recalled.

She said her daughter had to repeat kindergarten and could benefit from enhanced opportunities but she thinks it sounds merely like childcare instead of schooling.

She said she would enroll her daughter in year-round school if it was “an actual good, well-managed rollout.” “It’s great in theory.”

“I’m just worried that this is more about his political self-promotion,” said Semiglazova.

“First of all, how are you going to fund it?” she asked.

De Blasio said on Twitter: “Tax the wealthy. Revolutionize public education. Reduce Inequality.”

His website states that he would tax New Yorkers who make over $1 million annually.

State Sen. John Liu (D-Bayside), chairman of the New York City Education Committee, said the proposal is “interesting” as an idea.

“It’s reasonable to make more use of school space all year round,” he said. But there are still many unanswered questions, he added. “I hope he doesn’t try to inject more confusion with this,” said Liu.

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