Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics


-Pay Raises for Teachers
-Campaign for Fiscal Equity

Fernando Ferrer

Fernando Ferrer promises to the number of high school graduates from New York City public schools by 50,000 in four years. And within eight years, lower the dropout rate below the national level. He plans to modernize the schools, hire more teachers, and create a centralized tracking system to monitor student progress and attendance, which he says will identify children at risk of dropping out it can be prevented before it happens. He also promises to provide each student a laptop computer to engage them in learning in and out of school

Ferrer also promises to give public school teachers a pay raise.

To pay for all of this, Ferrer proposes using the $23 billion that the State Supreme Court ruled the city should receive in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit. Although he hopes the majority of the money will come from Albany, Ferrer said city should pay 25 percent of it. He has proposed a tax of about a half a cent on sales of an average share of stock. He argues that it makes sense to require Wall Street to contribute to education, the former Bronx borough president said, because “they are the industry that benefits most in seeing that New York’s children are educated to the highest of standards.”

(Read Ferrer’s education platform

C. Virginia Fields

C. Virginia Fields promises to reform the school system and eliminate a “top down approach” to education. She proposes extending after-school programs and increasing parental involvement, with an annual “Parent Power” conference. She promises to expand and improve pre-school options. Fields says she will must reach out to business, unions and non-profits to partner in planning our high school job placement and counseling.

Fields promises to recruit more qualified teachers and give them a pay raise.

To pay for her education plan, Fields promises to secure the $23 that the State Supreme Court ruled the city should receive in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit. She said it is too early to say if the city should be required to pay any portion of this and has said the mayor should demand the money from Albany before committing any money.

(Read C. Virginia Fields education platform

Gifford Miller

Gifford Miller has made reducing class size the top priority for education. Miller promises to reduce class sizes by 20 percent. This means kindergarten through third grade would have no more than 17 students, 20 students in fourth through fifth grade, and 23 students in junior and senior high. He also proposes eliminating quotas on the number of students a principal may discipline, provide after school programs for every child. Using new technology, he plans to foster better parent-teacher communication. And we wants to institute a service program so that every high school student performs community service.

Miller also promises to give public school teachers pay raises. He also wants to tie salary and advancement to performance and provide bonuses for teachers who agree to work in under-performing schools.

To pay for his education proposals, Miller proposes using the $23 billion that the State Supreme Court ruled the city should receive in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit. He believes the city should pay about 10 percent of this amount and has proposed an income tax on New Yorkers who make more than $500,000 a year to pay for it.

(Read Gifford Miller’s education platform

Anthony Wiener

Anthony Wiener says that the top priority for the education system should be ensuring school safety. He believes principals and teachers should be given more power to suspend unruly students. He also wants to replace the current school curriculum and give teachers more say in their lesson plans. He promises to revamp school spending to put more money toward the classroom, for example eliminating Mayor Bloomberg’s Leadership Academy that trains principals.

Wiener promises to pay teacher’s more in order to keep them from moving to higher paid jobs in the suburbs.

To pay for his education proposals, Wiener proposes using the $23 billion that the State Supreme Court ruled the city should receive in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit. Although he admits that the city will likely have to pay some portion of this, he has not committed to a specific amount of city funding.

(Read Anthony Weiner’s education platform

Michael Bloomberg

Even Michael Bloomberg’s opponents agree that abolishing the Board of Education and taking control of the city’s schools was a major accomplishment. Bloomberg has also instituted a citywide curriculum and increased city funding for the Department of Education by $2.5 billion since 2002. Bloomberg eliminated the policy of social promotion in the 3rd and 5th grades and points toward a 10 percent increase in reading scores for 4th graders as proof of its success. Bloomberg also created a Leadership Academy to recruit and train principals.

Since giving the teacher’s a raise in his first year in office, Bloomberg and the teacher’s union have been deadlocked over additional pay increases. He has offered teachers raises of about 5 percent over three years in return for work rule concessions. The teachers union is demanding a 19 percent pay hike over three years.

Bloomberg supports the State Supreme Court ruling that city schools should get $23 billion in more funding. But he does not want the city to pay a single additional cent. Bloomberg has argued, any increase at all in city education spending would require cuts in other areas that "would harm the very children this lawsuit is designed to help." Michael Cardoza, the Bloomberg administration's corporation counsel, has even said that the city would reject any additional state funds if it had to chip in part of the settlement.

(Read Michael Bloomberg’s education platform)

Money, Class Size and Mayoral Politics
Mayoral Candidates Debate Education (a transcript)