7. What would you do to ensure that every school in the city has the resources to provide every student with a quality education that includes the arts?
Schools will be a top priority in my budget. It is unacceptable that we repeatedly find more money for the NYPD and for tax breaks for developers, but not to ensure that our students have a holistic education. My administration is prepared to expand City revenue in several ways. This includes partnering with local electeds and organizations as we push the state and federal government to equitably tax the rich to generate the funds we need to recover and create a sustainably equitable city. I would also work to increase municipal spending power by introducing a city complementary currency and creating a public bank to generate municipal credit abilities. Additionally, I will work alongside a coalition of cities that will pressure the federal government to provide municipalities with automatic stabilizing spending policies. I also am committed to redistributing City revenue from the NYPD into social services. I plan to divest at least $3 billion from the NYPD and reinvesting that into our schools and public services. These additional funds will go directly into expanding and improving social services, with priority given to our schools. I would also restore and expand funding to the Department of Cultural Affairs, particularly the Cultural After School Adventures program.
Of course, giving schools more funding does not necessarily ensure that school arts programs are well funded. To do that, I would work with my DOE chancellor to systematically evaluate the quality of every school’s arts program. DOE can then work with superintendents and principals to appropriately channel funding towards arts education and programming.