The New York Equity Coalition outlines policy priorities for next New York City mayoral administration

Press Release

June 4, 2021

Civil rights, education, parent, and business groups outline key investment areas to ensure more educational equity from early childhood through college

NEW YORK – As New York City voters gear up for the Mayoral primary election later this month, the New York Equity Coalition of civil rights, education, parent, and business groups today released a blueprint for the next mayoral administration to ensure more educational equity from early childhood through college and workforce.

New York City is home to the largest and one of the most diverse school systems in the country. In order to adequately serve its more than one million students in over 1,600 district-run and charter schools, equity-driven leadership must be the baseline. The next Mayoral administration must commit to taking steps to close persistent opportunity gaps and prioritize educational equity for all students, especially students historically underserved by the education system—students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, students with disabilities, multilingual learners, and other special populations.

An equity-focused agenda will be particularly crucial as New York City seeks to rebuild after the pandemic, which has exacerbated educational inequities that are deeply entrenched in the system.

The New York Equity Coalition is calling for the following educational equity priorities to be included in the next Mayoral administration’s agenda:

  • Invest city resources to help address pre-existing inequities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic, including by expanding community schools, providing a comprehensive, equity-driven approach to early childhood education, addressing mental health and social-emotional learning in schools, providing academic supports, and addressing the digital divide.
  • Improve college and career readiness, including by improving equitable access to advanced coursework, supporting postsecondary transitions for high school seniors, and improving postsecondary attainment.
  • Address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, including by expanding integration/desegregation programming, expanding initiatives that promote educator diversity and retention and prioritizing inclusive instructional leadership and curriculum.

“The Committee for Hispanic Children & Families (CHCF), alongside New York City parents, students and other community advocates, has been tirelessly pushing for a public school system that is equitably invested in; that uplifts every student and community from a strengths-based lens; that offers culturally and linguistically responsive and sustaining curriculum and supports; and that truly opens access to high-quality educational opportunities that allow every student to succeed and thrive in their education and beyond,” said Ramon Peguero, Esq., president & CEO of the Committee for Hispanic Children & Families (CHCF). “These past 14 months have highlighted a system that has for far too long preserved privilege and opportunity for some, with vast disparities in the resources and investments made for students who have been historically and knowingly underserved. Especially considering the significant windfall of federal funds coming to the city this coming fiscal year, it is crucial that the next administration recognize the gains made through the hard work and advocacy of parents and youth around educational equity, commit to further investing in and growing programs that we know work and best meet the holistic needs of our students and families, and continue the push to finally eradicate our public system of rampant segregation, resource hoarding and inequitable access to educational opportunities.”

“As a former teacher, principal, and district leader in New York City, I am intimately aware of the deep inequities that have persisted in our city for decades. Now more than ever, our city’s children require leadership that understands the impact of not only the pandemic, but of historical underinvestment in the communities that need resources the most. It will take significant, equity-driven investments to meet our students’ needs, particularly for our children and families who have borne the brunt of recent events,” said Dia Bryant, interim executive director of The Education Trust–New York.

“The next mayor of New York City will inherit a challenging landscape for the education and welfare of children but it will be coupled with a once-in-an-era infusion of resources to address these challenges,” said Paula L. White, executive director of Educators for Excellence-New York. “These recommendations will ensure that policies are family-friendly, teacher-friendly, and community focused, and that every dollar under the control of New York City’s next mayor will be a dollar judiciously spent.”

“It is crucial that the next Mayoral administration provide a clear, actionable vision for New York City schools that aims to ensure all students have a high-quality education from birth through their postsecondary desires. “The next Mayoral administration must make special education services to the more than 300,000 students with disabilities a priority so our students can resume making educational progress immediately,” said Barbara Glassman, executive director of INCLUDEnyc. “With the City receiving the largest ever investment in education from the federal government, the next administration must make a significant investment in quality programs and activities for all of our students.”

“Addressing the disparities in our education system must be a priority and we are eager to work with the next administration to advance education equity in our city’s school system,” said Sheena Wright, president and CEO of United Way of New York City. “Along with fellow community organizations with deep programmatic, direct service and capacity building experience across the City, we bring longstanding community insights and lessons that are critical for our path to ensuring every student in our City has access to a quality education. The time to design and execute on a clear and actionable agenda that serves all of our students and families is now.”

About the New York Equity Coalition:

The New York Equity Coalition is a group of civil rights, education, parent, and business organizations committed to fighting for higher achievement and greater opportunities for all students in New York State. Its New York City-based membership includes Brooklyn YWCA, Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, Democrats for Education Reform-NY, The Education Trust–New York, Educators for Excellence, ImmSchools, INCLUDEnyc, New York Urban League, Read Alliance, Turnaround for Children, and the United Way of New York City.