De Blasio Campaign Press Release - Mayor Bill de Blasio Announces Bold Path Forward to Improve Public Education
At the National Educators Association's Presidential Forum, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a bold path forward to invest in America's future by providing an excellent education for all of our children:
Constitutional Amendment to Establish a Right to an Adequate Education
In a nation that was founded on the principle of equal opportunity, a quality public education should be the birth right of every American. Yet, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that no such right exists at the federal level. A right to an excellent education would lead to more and more equitable funding and support for students nationwide.
State constitutions vary widely in their educational requirements and state courts have a mixed record in interpreting and enforcing these provisions. The right to a quality public education should be guaranteed by the federal government and as President, Bill de Blasio will fight to ensure that this right is enshrined in the Constitution.
Change School Funding to Address Inequality & Incentivize State Investment
The large majority of educational spending comes from state and local governments. The reliance on local property taxes is fundamentally discriminatory towards kids growing up in working class and poor communities. As the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools notes, the impact of this structure is that "schools serving Black and Brown students are systematically sabotaged." The same can be said of schools in poor rural communities, as well as working class and middle class communities across the country where low-property values cannot generate the revenue for their schools that wealthier communities provide to theirs.
As President, de Blasio will address this broken system and its discriminatory effects on our children, especially those in working class communities and communities of color. He will propose a much larger role for the federal government in funding public education to mitigate the inequities caused by the over-reliance on regressive property taxes. The increased federal funding will provide additional resources for every jurisdiction while directing most new funds to districts that need it most. Finally, this new federal investment in public education will be structured to reward states that use progressive taxation to ensure fairness in school funding.
Establish Nationwide Childhood Education for Students Aged 3, 4 and 5
The vast majority of brain development in our youth happens from ages zero to five, but across the country many school districts only begin providing full-day education at the age of six. Our country needs to reimagine the way we think about early education.
In New York City, de Blasio created universal, full-day, high quality pre-k for every four year old and is on the path to expanding that to universal 3-K. Investing in early childhood education is absolutely essential to ensuring that every child has a truly equal opportunity to live up to their potential.
As President, Bill de Blasio will launch a massive effort to guarantee universal early childhood for all twelve million three, four, and five year olds, reaching half of all eligible children within five years and all reaching universality within eight years. To accomplish this, de Blasio will make an unprecedented investment in the recruitment and training of early educators, creating over five hundred thousand quality jobs for early education professionals.
Fully Fund Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
The federal government has failed to live up to its promises to fund public schools in low-income communities and provide services for students with disabilities. We need a massive and sustained increase in federal funding to provide every child with the education they deserve.
Title I of the ESEA was designed to direct federal spending to schools in communities with high levels of poverty. The law established a target of providing school districts with a 40% increase in resources.
IDEA, designed to provide federal funding to students with disabilities, has been similarly underfunded; Congress made a commitment to provide up to 40% of the cost of educating these students, but has shamefully shortchanged schools.
As President, de Blasio will fight to meet our national commitment to quality education for all students and fully fund Title I and IDEA. In 2019, Congress appropriated approximately $15 billion to Title I and $12 billion to IDEA. Full funding to the level authorized by law would be $44 billion and $35 billion, respectively–a total of nearly $52 billion of additional federal spending to support the schools and students that need it most.
Bill de Blasio, De Blasio Campaign Press Release - Mayor Bill de Blasio Announces Bold Path Forward to Improve Public Education Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/365077