ALBANY, N.Y. (January 4, 2022) — New York’s students and their families are struggling with the challenges created by three consecutive school years disrupted by COVID, marked by irregular school closures, inconsistent remote learning and technology, and insufficient access to mental health supports. Meanwhile, the state’s childcare sector is also in crisis, with providers overburdened and underpaid, and many families unable to access quality programs for their children.
Childcare and public education are deeply interrelated, and both are essential components of community development. We hope to see the Hochul administration take New York’s economic development in a new direction, with investments not only in education and children but also in health, housing and creating economic opportunities that support the wellbeing of our communities.
With a new Governor and a combination of federal aid and state aid, New York has the opportunity in this year’s legislative session to address many of these challenges, but first Governor Hochul needs to show commitment to seeing the solutions through—starting with her address tomorrow. Here is what we will be watching out for New York’s children and families in the coming year:
Strategic investments in educational opportunities and children’s wellbeing
We have not yet addressed the long-term academic, social and mental health impacts that the pandemic has had on children. Black, brown and low-income children, whose schools were the most under-resourced prior to COVID and whose communities were hardest hit by the pandemic, are facing the worst of these challenges. Our communities need comprehensive solutions that are centered in equity and racial justice to support the whole child and their family.
- Fully funding Foundation Aid for year two of the three year phase-in
- Multi year commitment to creating universal child care and Pre-K
- Expansion of community schools, teacher diversity programs and literacy initiatives
Economic development for communities, not giveaways to the wealthy
The Hochul administration has an opportunity to redefine economic development, not as giveaways to big corporations and campaign contributors, but real economic development as it always should have been defined: growing the New York State economy with investments in our children, our families and our communities.
- Public investments in public goods like early childhood education, childcare, pre-K-12 and higher education, public health, the public workforce, social housing, public transit and clean energy infrastructure