With the recent reforms in school governance and with the partnership of the Chancellor, the Board of Education, the City Council, the Governor, the State Legislature, we've made more positive changes to our school system in the last six months than had been accomplished in the last 28 years.
Now that partnership and these accomplishments are foundations on which we will dramatically improve our school system, so that all the children of New York are given the opportunity to learn the skills that will enable them to compete and succeed in the marketplace of the 21st century.
And I outlined a plan that will replace a culture of unaccountability in our schools with a culture of performance.
Chancellor Crew and I agree that there is nothing more important than improving our children's ability to read. And towards that end I announced "Project Read." I have asked the Municipal Assistance Corporation to make available $125 million of city money that will be placed in a special fund, specifically for the purpose of helping our children improve their ability to read.
"Project Read" will provide the Chancellor with the resources and flexibility to give students in grade schools six hours of additional reading instruction per week and other programs, so that all children will have an opportunity to improve their reading.
And to prepare our children for the demands of the future, I announced "Project Smart Schools," which is an all-encompassing partnership, between City Hall, the City Council, the Board of Education, and most importantly our business leaders, who will help finance and implement a program that will furnish 40,000 new computers, at least, to the public schools of our city.
I also emphasized the importance of returning a comprehensive arts education curriculum to our schools. The Chancellor and I, with the help of the Annenberg Foundation, and the Department of Cultural Affairs, are working with many talented artists and cultural institutions to restore arts education to all of our public schools.
New York City has some of the highest performing public schools in the country. Now it's time to raise the standards and performance of the many schools that are not the best.
If we work together, by the year 2000, New York City can have outstanding schools that will prepare our children for the new millennium, so that no longer will any of our students graduate without being able to read their diplomas... so that our students can compete in the marketplace and succeed.
From Gracie Mansion, this is Mayor Rudy Giuliani.