Education, Youth & Culture 

Education is at the core of our society, an investment for the future, and our youth. As a public school student, I’ve experienced a lack of proper resources to succeed. Teachers, schools, and essential students within our district are ill-equipped. These instances must not continue. Over the past 6 months, COVID-19 has reminded us that we have work to do. As a city council member, I will urge my fellow colleagues to refund our educational system and stand up for the future of our city. Your children deserve to have their needs met and their cultural background acknowledged, teachers deserve respect and not worry about continuing cuts to their classroom. The fact ASAP program was on the first line to be cut by the mayor is unacceptable. 

Shaeleigh's Plan

  • Fight for the increase in grant money to upgrade technology resources and accessibility for low-income families with the proper access to apply for laptops, tablets, monitors

  • Support Universal broadband, every home is to have WiFi/ internet and access to technology

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  •  Support the removal of the New York Police Department (NYPD) law enforcement officers from public schools

  • Support the funding of  $1.1. billion over the course of two years from the city budget into our public schools in order to give each child a fighting chance

  • Support maintaining larger school communities but smaller classroom sizes for the benefit of students.

  • Strongly oppose the conversion of public schools into charter schools. We must properly provide the necessary funding and resources to our public schools that educate and nurture over 1.1 million students that are 72.8% economically disadvantaged and are 65% of the public school system 

Shaeleigh's Vision 

For Teachers:

  • Severino for City Council will support the return of the Teacher’s Choice Fund. This fund provided an additional $200 to first year and $250 years after to Teachers each year for the purpose of buying supplies or items deemed necessary for enriched learning or the environment. Teachers are expected to provide an itemized list of purchases or forced to face fines equal to the fund. 

  • Severino for City Council will call on the need for additional funds for the Department Of Education for class hygiene and sanitary needs to provide schools the support for safe schools without the expenses falling on teachers.

  • Severino for City Council will introduce a bill for increased professional development (PD) for teachers and support staff, specifically on the matter of Cultural Awareness and responses as well as Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). 

  • Racism is a real public health crisis as the real trauma faced by students from COVID19. Teachers and support staff deserve to be better equipped for these challenges that can not be covered in one single day. A committee should be created to assist the Department Of Education in an effective and relevant way to ensure these professional developments are undertaken. 

Desegregation of Schools:

Our Strategy for desegregation will be the preservation of larger schools but calling for smaller classroom sizes. The division of previous large schools such as Beach Channel High School into campuses is not effective because of the continuation of the large class sizes. Our students need greater attention that even technology can not be made possible without our teachers. Teachers who have to balance as many as 35 students per classroom. We need smaller classrooms and with it more teachers to ensure quality education all housed within a large school community that will allow diversity to give way to the exchange of ideas and culture. (See Curriculum in addition)

 

  • Severino for City Council will submit a bill calling for increased resources and funding for underperforming schools within the Department Of Education after two years of poor performance. We address segregation in our public school system as well as prevent closures of schools due to lacking resources.

ADA Schools:

  • Severino for City Council will support the continued review of the Taskforce proposed in Int 1303-2019 while also supporting Int 1506-2019

  • Severino for City Council will call for additional state funding for the creation of a grant to be administered to the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) for the sole purpose of updating ALL Department Of Education public schools to ensure ADA compliance to proper standards, not just bare minimum code. Education is for all, this includes students with physical disabilities. This bill will ensure a measure to place special preference over local construction business near to a school to allow for community empowerment.

Curriculum:

  • Severino for City Council will introduce a resolution calling for an increase in the current Department Of Education public school system programs for Bilingual Education for students as well as support teachers towards project-based learning.  

 

  • Severino for City Council will introduce a resolution for the development of a bill to offer voter education from grades 8-12 and work with the Department of Youth Community Development and Board of Elections to create adult voter education programs to ensure all members of our city know the processes of voting. 

 

  • Severino for City Council will support the development of a grant specifically for schools to create a curriculum that expands on RES 1385-2020 and RES 1225-2020 as it pertains to a specific Department Of Education capable curriculum that is not generally on a test subject. This grant will allow schools to develop culturally sensitive and empowering curriculums that are relevant to child development as well as human rights.

  • Severino for City Council will sponsor the development of an interfaith curriculum for grades K-12 to be given once a week with the aim being to help normalize and provide greater understanding based on cultural awareness and empathy. 

Education Reform as part of Reformative Justice:

  • Severino for City Council will support the current bill Int 1316-2019 calling for the Department of Corrections (DOC) providing Civics Education for inmates. While the purpose of criminal justice is to incarcerate offenders to the law it is important that the emphasis of incarnation is reform and reeducation. As such there can be no justice without education for those incarcerated to return to society.

Expansion of the Summer Youth Employment Program:

  • Severino for City Council will submit a bill creating funding for a citywide tutoring initiative program to be funded and overseen by DYCD (Department of Youth and Community Development as a year-long aspect to SYEP (Summer Youth Employment Program)

  • Prioritizing in the expansion of SYEP into a year-long program in any respective field of the legal profession, medical field, trade work, engineering, entrepreneurship, and small business collaborations, and many other fields in which students can work part-time internships or jobs throughout the academic school year.

Higher Education:

  • Severino for City Council will call for the continuation and expansion of the reduced fare MetroCard into reduced fare options when the switch to OMNY occurs for college students of CUNY that qualify. 

School Reform:

  • Severino for City Council will submit a bill calling for the removal of the school safety officers from DOE schools, to be replaced by Guidance counselors. Previously allocated funds to pay said school safety officers will remain under the authority of the Department of Education Budget as this will be the source of payment for the new guidance counselors. 

  • Severino for City Council will support initiatives for CMS groups that offer student mentorship as part of their wrap-around services to be in schools after proper vetting processes by the Department Of Education

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