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Innovative Steps For a Brighter Year Ahead - Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Innovative Steps For a Brighter Year Ahead

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Over the past 10 years, our Administration has turned around the city’s schools, strengthened our economy, protected our environment, and improved our quality of life. And last week’s State of the City laid out the innovative steps we’re taking during 2012 to do even more to help all New Yorkers fulfill their dreams.

We all know that in today’s world, that starts with education. And it’s clearer now than ever that success in schools is keyed to having the best teachers. So we need to attract more students who graduate at or near the top of their college classes to teach in our schools. To do that, we’re proposing this idea to the teachers’ union: let’s offer to pay off up to $25,000 of those students’ college loans. And let’s also agree to boost the salaries of our most effective classroom teachers by $20,000 a year.

We also intend to step up our efforts to keep only the best teachers. We’ll establish committees in 33 persistently low-achieving schools that will assess the teachers there; only the best will be brought back. That process will also enable our schools to receive $58 million in State ‘school improvement grants.’ At the same time, we’ll continue to give parents and students more schools to choose from; we announced plans to create 100 new schools over the next two years. This year, we’ll also make sure students’ lessons and assignments are geared even more closely to preparing them for college or careers.

That’s because our students have to be ready for the ‘knowledge economy’ that more and more of them will be working in as adults. To create jobs in that economy, this year, we’ll encourage expansion of our city’s growing ‘tech’ sector – while beginning to connect more low-income New Yorkers to knowledge-based jobs. We’re also going to build the economy in all five boroughs by, for example, joining local elected officials to bring businesses and jobs to the Bronx’s long-vacant Kingsbridge Armory – and also to keep thousands of good jobs at the Hunts Point produce market. We’ll strongly support State Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver’s proposal to increase the State minimum wage. And we’ll step up our efforts to place more New Yorkers in new jobs – including currently unemployed veterans of our Armed Forces.

To help put more New Yorkers to work, we’re also going to streamline the processes of getting City approval for development projects and construction plans. And to keep New York a place where people want to live and businesses want to locate and expand, we’ll continue enhancing our great quality of life, with more affordable housing, new parks, a new bike-sharing program, and new cultural attractions in all five boroughs. We’ll also begin to double the amount of waste we recycle instead of sending it to landfills, start to develop more renewable sources of energy, and move ahead aggressively toward our goal of giving New York the cleanest air of any city in the nation.

Cities around the globe look to New York for leadership – and for good reason. In areas from public schools to public safety to public health, we’re the world capital of innovation. And in 2012, that spirit of innovation will power New York toward a brighter future.

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