Archives of Rudolph W. Giuliani

MAYOR'S MESSAGE

Mayor's WINS Address
Sunday, December 29, 1996



Good morning. The Christmas holiday is behind us, and in two days the world will once again celebrate New Year's Eve in Times Square.

This is the time of year when we traditionally look back at our accomplishments and we look forward to the priorities and goals of the year to come.

In New York City, we have accomplished a great deal in the past year, and all New Yorkers should be proud of their achievements.

Crime has continued to decline, and in very substantial numbers. In 1996, our city will be safer than at any time it has ever been in the last 28 to 30 years. The murder rate has been cut in half, and all serious crime is down by over 38 percent, almost 40 percent.

And we've continued to reform our welfare system, moving more people off welfare and putting more people back to work than ever before in our city's history.

Rather than being seen as a city of problems, we're now being seen as a city of solutions, as the nation looks to us as the leader in fighting crime and reforming welfare.

But as we look to the future, we must take a leadership position in more areas, and none is as important as the education of our children.

Since the beginning of my administration, I've been fighting to reform our public school system, to institute School Based Budgeting, to remove power from the local boards and to give the Chancellor not only the responsibility of running the system, but the authority to run the system.

And the school governance reforms recently passed by the State Legislature represent the culmination of the hard work of many people.

With these reforms, we can now look to the future and envision our Public School System once again leading the way as an example of educational excellence.

Under the leadership of Chancellor Rudy Crew, we've already taken great strides in the reformation of the system. He has assembled a team of top professionals and he has produced the most detailed report ever compiled on Board of Education spending.

With the initiation of School Based Budgeting, we will no longer have to turn $8 billion over to the Board of Education with no idea of how it's going to be spent, or where the money's going.

Now we will start with what each of our 1,085 schools needs to raise math scores, or to buy computers, or to improve reading, and what's left over after we take care of the classrooms and the children will go to the administration -- not the other way around.

The Chancellor is now in charge of hiring superintendents and he has the authority to affect the leadership of underperforming schools. So that we'll never again have to see schools that fail to perform and school districts that fail to perform year, after year, after year -- and yet maintain their leadership.

And with the addition of $70 million to the Board of Education budget, each of the one million children in our public schools will have textbooks -- and current textbooks -- next year.

What has happened is that accountability has been returned to the Public School System, and with these hard-fought reforms in hand, we can look to the future and know that we now have the ability, and therefore the duty, to make our school system great again, and the envy of the nation.



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