Archives of Rudolph W. Giuliani

MAYOR'S MESSAGE

Mayor's WINS Address
Sunday, December 22, 1996



Good morning. This past week, The New York State Legislature enacted the most significant reform of our Public School System in more than 25 years. I not only welcome these reforms, but I believe they are long overdue.

I have committed my administration to improving the lives of our city's children, and improving the quality of the education provided in our city's schools. It is one of the most important and most critical things we have to do.

Over the last three years, I have fought to reform our school system, and many of the initiatives contained in the new legislation are things I have long advocated.

The new legislation consolidates power in the Chancellor's office, giving him the authority to hire District Superintendents, and giving him the authority to remove school boards that are not performing well.

For too long, too many of our local school boards have been plagued, as many of you know, by scandal and by incompetence, and that reflects itself in poor performance in the schools.

Perhaps the most positive element of the new legislation is that it finally introduces accountability into the school system, giving the Chancellor the ability to guide the system to actually improving the performance of the children. And by giving the Chancellor these new responsibilities, children, parents, and City Hall will finally have a person who not only has the job of running the schools, but can be held accountable, in the right way, for its performance.

One of Chancellor Crew's achievements, and it is something for which we have fought very hard, is the reformation of the Board of Education budgeting process into what is known as School Based Budgeting System.

Now, instead of starting with $8 billion that goes to the Board and then funnels, almost in secrecy, through endless bureaucracies before getting to the classrooms, we can start the budgeting process with the schools, and figure out what they need to educate children, and take care of the needs of children first and foremost.

Recently Chancellor Crew released the most detailed report of Board of Ed spending ever compiled. And it has been very helpful in focusing on the answers to the questions about how to spend the money so it can actually help children.

Thanks to that effort, we now not only have the the legislative approval to enact School Based Budgeting, but we have the technical capacity to actually do it.

A couple of weeks ago, I demonstrated my faith in the Chancellor when I announced the addition of $70 million to the Board of Education's budget, solely for the purpose of buying current textbooks for all of the system's children.

Educating our children is one of the single most important tasks of government. The job we do dictates the future success of our city, our society and our nation.

I have worked very hard to improve our public school system, and now with the partnership of Chancellor Crew, and the support of the State Legislature, we are finally seeing the types of real, positive reform that will help us achieve our goal of making New York City Public Schools, once again, the best public schools in the country.

From Gracie Mansion, this is Rudy Giuliani.



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