Category Archives: Education

Struggling Schools Get Annual $60 M Boost

Next year, 130 struggling schools in New York City will be getting close to an additional $34 million for academic programs and staffing, and an additional $60 million per year thereafter. Mayor Bill de Blasio this week announced a plan to finally invest Fair Student Funding, a combination of city and state funds, for 130 Renewal Schools, Community Schools, and Persistently Failing Schools throughout the five boroughs.  The additional funds will get the schools to 100 percent of their funding … Continue reading

More Than 20K Queens Kids Sign Up for Full-Day Pre-K

More than 20,000 borough children applied for free, full-day pre-K during the first round of admissions that closed last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday. As of last Friday, 20,670 Queens students have applied to the program; second only to Brooklyn, with 21,500 signing up in the first round. A total of 68,849 children across the city have applied to the pre-K program, now in its second year. The Department of Education will now match children to individual … Continue reading

Katz to Host Tax Lien Assistance Workshop

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz announced on Monday that her office will host a workshop next month at Borough Hall to help homeowners and other property owners who may be affected by the city’s upcoming tax lien sale due to unpaid taxes and other bills owed to the city. Katz’s Tax Lien Assistance Workshop is scheduled for Monday, May 4, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Room 213 in Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Blvd. in Kew Gardens Unpaid … Continue reading

State Legislature Approves $142B Budget; Education, Ethics Reforms Anchor Spending Plan

Governor Andrew Cuomo and leaders of the state Legislature early Wednesday morning announced the passage of the 2015-2016 budget. Anchored by education and ethics reforms—the two issues that had lawmakers burning the midnight oil Tuesday—the $142 billion spending plan boasts new investments in rebuilding and growing the Empire State economy, including $1.5 billion for the Upstate Revitalization Initiative and $500 million to make New York the first in the nation to have statewide broadband. “This $142 billion budget is the … Continue reading

De Blasio Tours Richmond Hill HS, Touts ‘Renewal’ Program

Mayor Bill de Blasio last Thursday paid a visit to Richmond Hill High School, touting its improvement over the past three months as one of nearly 100 Renewal Schools across the city. Last November, de Blasio unveiled the $150 million Renewal Schools program, dedicating new leadership and resources to 94 schools that, like Richmond Hill, have struggled for years. The effort is overseen by Aimee Horowitz, executive superintendent for Renewal Schools. “As a mom, as a teacher, as a principal, and as … Continue reading

De Blasio, Giuliani Urge Albany to Protect Mayoral Control of City Schools

The old adage is that politics makes for strange bedfellows. But even Charles Dudley Warner could not have imagined this pairing. Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani on Monday sent a joint letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature urging them to renew and protect mayoral control of the city public school system. “This is a proven reform with broad support among parents, educators and officials from all ends of the spectrum,” said de Blasio, … Continue reading

Teachers, Students Blast Cuomo Education Policy

Dozens of Public School 64 students, teachers, support staff, and parents last Thursday afternoon rallied outside the Ozone Park building, blasting Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his education policy. The demonstration—one of nearly 200 across the city—was part of a “Protect Our Schools” mobilization aimed at Cuomo’s proposed school reforms in this year’s budget. Toting small signs with messages including “Show us the money,” “Less TESTING More TEACHING,” and “Fair student funding,” they marched briskly around the block a few times, … Continue reading

Queens Tops in Universal Pre-K Applications

Nearly 8,000 Queens families—the most of any borough—on Monday applied for seats as the second phase of the city’s expanded Pre-K for All program got underway, according to the de Blasio administration. Queens boasted 7,700 applicants by Tuesday afternoon, roughly 1,500 more than the closest borough, Brooklyn. In all, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced, 21,938 families applied on Monday for the free, full-day program—up from 6,500 in the first day of applications last year. The administration indicated that it expects … Continue reading

Program Allows Area Students to Learn From NASA Astronauts

An afterschool initiative in Richmond Hill provides area students with the opportunity to learn about the Final Frontier—from actual National Aeronautics and Space Administration astronauts. Part of the Science and Technology program at the One Stop Richmond Hill Community Center on Jamaica Avenue, children of various grades from neighborhood public and private schools videoconference with astronauts at NASA facilities across the country, learning about everything from astronomy to physics and climate science. “I think it’s a really good program,” said … Continue reading

Borough President Accepting CEC Applications

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz last Thursday announced that she is accepting applications from qualified community- and education-minded individuals to serve as a 2015-2017 Borough President appointee to the Queens’ Community Education Councils. CECs, according to Katz, allow for parent involvement at the Community School District level and play an essential role in shaping education policies for public schools. They are education policy advisory bodies that have a number of important responsibilities, Katz noted, including reviewing and evaluating a district’s … Continue reading

CK Assistant Principal, Teacher and Student Awarded Army Core Value Award

The US Army presented awards to Assistant Principal Steve Giusto, and teacher Mike Ouellette, for their work as educators that follow the Army’s Core Values. They include loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. Senior, Alicia Torres, was also singled out amongst students who represent the Army’s Core Values.

Assembly passes NY Dream Act; Senate Approval Uncertain

  The Assembly last week passed a bill that would grant college financial aid to immigrants living in the country illegally. But the NY Dream Act still faces hurdles before becoming law. The bill was passed for the third consecutive year by the Assembly, but Senate Republicans, many who opposed it in last year’s elections, could do the same this session. Long Island Assemblyman Dean Murray (R-East Patchogue) voted against the act, saying that legislators need to help legal students … Continue reading

Katz Adamant to Get Students Out of Trailers, End Overcrowding: Largest NYC elementary school expands capacity

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, in January’s State of the Borough address, was firm in outlining a plan to reduce overcrowding in Queens schools.  Calling it her “#1 priority,” she listed the schools that would get relief by year’s end:  P.S. 55 in Jamaica, P.S. 70 in Astoria, P.S. 92 in Corona, and Richmond Hill High School. “We need to get our kids, once and for all, out of these trailers we call classrooms,” she said. And just a few … Continue reading

Queens Library President Reports Capital Funding Needs

Bridget Quinn-Carey, Interim President and CEO of Queens Library, testified this week before the New York City Council Finance Committee jointly with the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations and Subcommittee on Libraries on the library’s capital funding needs. “Right now, our libraries are not able to give New Yorkers the full benefit of what we have to offer. The lack of reliable capital budget support has limited our ability to provide the level of services we … Continue reading

Katz Celebrates Black History Month

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz hosted a celebration of Black History Month this week at York College in Jamaica. Several distinguished African Americans and organizations received citations of honor during the event, and eight high school seniors were presented with scholarships of $1000 each. The scholarship winners were based on their academic and civic achievement and on the quality of their written submission as to what Black History Month means to them.