For de Blasio, a blueprint for launching community schools in New York City
The Department of Education and the city’s new “Children’s Cabinet” could both be headed for an overhaul if Mayor Bill de Blasio follows a new slate of suggestions for supporting community schools, one of the mayor’s central education priorities.
The 81-page report, released Tuesday, comes as the de Blasio administration continues to plan its initiative to establish 100 community schools during its first term. Backed with a $52 million, four-year grant from the state, the city plans to launch programs this year at 40 schools, which will partner with outside organizations or city agencies to provide social services during and after the school day.
The report, produced by Children’s Aid Society and the Center for New York City Affairs with input from a range of city officials and de Blasio allies, is more detailed than most policy papers of its kind and likely to be influential. “Some of the strongest advocates for community schools now hold key positions of power in city government and are poised to convert the current piecemeal set of efforts into a system-wide strategy,” the report notes — advocates that include Richard Buery, the former head of the Children’s Aid Society who is now heading the city’s community schools effort.
The report underscores the importance of city agencies working together to help schools become hubs of social services. (Roughly 100 city schools already offer such services, which range from free eye and dental care to counseling and job training for parents and family members.) Offering those services after school hours requires outside providers to spend money on custodial staff and security, for example — a complicated and expensive process that city agencies could streamline.
Read the full story on Chalkbeat New York.