FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 22, 2012
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES NEW PROPOSALS TO IMPROVE SCHOOLS, STABILIZE PENSION COSTS AND STRENGTHEN THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg’s weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, January 22, 2012.
“Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
“Last week I visited a school we created in 2004, called the Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science. It’s one of 500 new, small schools we’ve created to give parents more top-quality options – and it’s been a big success, with a graduation rate of 96 percent.
“This year, we’ll continue to expand school choice for parents – and we’ll work to make sure that every classroom in every school is led by an effective teacher. We can do that by adopting a more rigorous teacher evaluation system, which is a top priority for our Administration. And last week, I’m glad to say, we were joined in that effort by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“In presenting his executive budget, the Governor made it clear that he will not allow the teachers’ union to drag its feet any longer on implementing new teacher evaluation systems across the state. That’s great news for New York City’s 1.1 million students. Ensuring that they graduate ready for college or a career is one of our most important duties. And to achieve it, we’ll do more than ever to attract, reward and retain great teachers – while also stepping up our efforts to remove ineffective teachers.
“The Governor also presented a bold plan to stabilize our pension costs, something we have long supported. New York City’s workforce is the finest in the world, and current city workers have earned their pensions. But we cannot afford to continue offering the same benefits to future workers. Right now, more than 12 percent of our budget is dedicated to pensions. That’s more than $8 billion that we’re not using to reduce our tax burden, or to spend on salaries for teachers, police officers and firefighters, or on job creation or social services. Governor Cuomo is right to make pension reform a top priority, and he’ll have our full support.
‘The Governor’s new budget also includes a plan to reform our juvenile justice system, which is the product of months of collaboration between city and state officials. The current system is defined by an 81 percent recidivism rate and annual per-child costs that top $250,000. We can do better. And by giving the City greater responsibility and resources in juvenile justice, we will. The new plan will allow our young people to remain closer to their families and receive individualized services, supports and opportunities they need to successfully transition into productive lives in their communities.
“The Governor’s priorities are the right priorities for the State and the City, and by working together, and working across party lines, we can keep our city moving forward.
“This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening.”
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
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