Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Porter Announce Academic Recovery Plan for Pivotal School Year Ahead
$635M historic investment to jumpstart academic achievement for every student
NEW YORK – Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter today announced their academic recovery vision for New York City’s public schools and students in the wake of the pandemic. The bold, rigorous framework will guide school communities and support students during the 2021-22 school year and beyond, stressing six critical areas of focus: early literacy for all, developing students as digital citizens, preparing students to be college- and career-ready, investing in special education services, building a rigorous and inclusive universal curriculum, and investing in social emotional supports for every student. In addition, each focus area includes dedicated supports for multilingual learners and immigrant students to address their unique needs and support their academic progress and language acquisition.
“Our kids deserve the best that New York City has to offer. That’s why we’re rolling out the NYC Universal Academic Recovery Plan when schools open their doors this September,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “It’s not enough to only get our kids back in the classroom. We have got to close the COVID achievement gap. And we will do that by reaching every child and supporting them—academically, emotionally, and socially—every step of the way.”
“This historic, high-impact investment in the academic growth and success of New York City’s students will allow us to come back from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger than ever,” said Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter. “This fall, we will welcome our students back to schools that are prepared to support them academically and emotionally after all they have been through – that’s what the Universal Academic Recovery Plan is all about.”
Early Literacy for All – $49M in FY22
This administration will redouble its commitment to early literacy by investing in screening and intervention for students in Kindergarten through 2nd grade, with a singular goal of all students reading on grade level by the end of 2nd grade. To accomplish this, schools will use a universal literacy screener for all K-2 students. The screeners will identify risk for dyslexia, as well as other challenges and print-based disabilities, and schools will implement intervention plans based on the results.
The Department of Education (DOE) will support schools through the literacy intervention process by:
- Targeted class size reduction achieved through hiring approximately 140 teachers in 72 higher need elementary schools.
- Bringing the number of Universal Literacy reading coaches to approximately 500 to provide all early childhood and K-2 classrooms with a literacy coach, and training K-2 educators to provide literacy supports to students in need.
- Training ENL, bilingual and content area teachers to track student progress and provide targeted supports for multilingual learners.
- In addition to the $49M investment, the DOE is providing funds to all schools to use for targeted supports for students, such as tutoring, extended day, and enrichment activities.
Devices for Digital Citizens – $122M in FY22
The pandemic led to an unprecedented investment in technology, with over 800,000 devices purchased by the NYCDOE and schools. The Academic Recovery Plan leaves remote learning behind but builds on this technological advancement by guaranteeing all students have access to a digital device and ensuring all students become fully fluent digital citizens for the new economy. As part of this commitment, the DOE will:
- Guarantee a device available for every K-12 student by delivering 175,000 more devices.
- Expand access to the City’s rigorous Computer Science 4 All initiative to 400,000 students by 2024.
- Train over 5,000 educators in advanced computer science.
- Launch a technology capstone project for all 8th grade students to demonstrate digital literacy skills.
Preparing Students to be College- and Career-Ready – $10M in FY22
As the City recovers from the pandemic, preparing students to graduate college- and career-ready is more important than ever. The Academic Recovery Plan will ensure every student, whether heading to college or a career, is best prepared for the next step in life. It makes multiple investments that benefit every high school student, including:
- Free, afterschool, personalized college counseling for every junior and senior.
- Universal College Financial Aid Guidance to help navigate the application process, available in multiple languages.
- 48 new remote AP college-prep courses.
- College Now restoration to serve 22,000 students from all high schools in dual enrollment, college-credit courses across 18 CUNY campuses.
- Immigrant Ambassador Programs across 30 high schools that match immigrant DOE students with college students to foster mentorship and early college awareness.
- Student Success Centers for 34 high schools to ensure post-grad plans for all students, and expanding the Postsecondary Readiness for ELLs Program (PREP), to be facilitated by a select group of school counselors and educators.
Special Education Investments – $251M in FY22
The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on our student with disabilities. The Academic Recovery Plan will make every resource available to better support students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). It extends from the DOE’s youngest learners to students preparing for graduation by:
- Launching afterschool and Saturday programs for all students with IEPs to receive additional instruction and related services.
- Adding 800 preschool special education seats by fall 2022.
- Expanding Committees on Preschool Special Education to expedite evaluations and IEP meetings.
- Providing eligible students ages 21+ with continued instruction toward receiving their diploma or other exit credential, or to receive consultation to facilitate post-secondary plans for college and career readiness.
- Expanding family workshops and information sessions through our Beyond Access Series, which supports families of students with disabilities.
Universal Mosaic Curriculum – $202M in FY22
New York City will develop a rigorous, inclusive, and affirming curriculum by fall 2023 – the Universal Mosaic Curriculum. Currently, there is no single off-the-shelf curriculum academically rigorous and inclusive enough for New York City’s 1,600 schools and one million students. This curriculum will be built on Literacy for All, accelerate student learning, and free teachers from time-consuming curriculum development.
The DOE will create a comprehensive ELA and Math curriculum that engages all students and prepares them for success in school and life by:
- Providing an unprecedented infusion of books into every classroom for next school year that reflect the variety of histories, languages and experiences that make up the City.
- Providing schools with dedicated funding to purchase texts in home languages and build home language libraries to support multilingual learners.
- Developing brand new training and support materials for the Arts, ELA, Math, Arts, and more, in partnership with New York City educators, beginning next year.
- Launching new targeted professional development lessons for teachers.
Social Emotional Supports for Every Student (Funding Previously Announced)
Children in every community are carrying trauma caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and a successful academic recovery can only happen when the emotional and mental health needs of students are taken care of. As previously announced, the DOE is significantly investing in every student by:
- Hiring over 500 social workers and other mental health support staff to guarantee that every school has resources to support students who may be in crisis.
- Adding over 130 new community schools to provide expanded social, emotional, academic, and extracurricular services to students in the highest need communities.
- Conducting wellness checks and social-emotional learning support to identify multilingual learners and their needs, particularly in transitioning to full time in-person learning.
- Using a social emotional screening tool to help identify students in need and quickly match them with services.
The academic recovery vision demonstrates the DOE’s commitment to lifting up New York City’s school communities beginning as early as September 2021, and ensuring they have the resources to recover stronger than ever from the impacts of the pandemic for years to come.
“New York City’s Academic Recovery Plan is a significant investment in the full set of tools children need to succeed. This program is made possible by the American Rescue Plan, an unprecedented commitment of federal funding to help schools reopen safely, meet students’ social, emotional and mental health needs, and address disparities in academic opportunities. The American Rescue Plan provided school districts with the flexibility to design and implement the programming that works best for them. With the Academic Recovery Plan, New York City will welcome students back this fall with a vision that will empower communities to help students thrive,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.
“Chancellor Porter and Mayor DeBlasio are showing tremendous leadership by ensuring that federal and local dollars are working to assist the tremendous investments needed in student learning. Their surgical efforts to promote best practices to support students is a shining example of how we must continue to be urgent and tactical in doing all that we can to invest in children,” said Congressman Jamaal Bowman.
“COVID-19 has placed a tremendous strain on students and educators who have faced unfathomable challenges during this public health emergency,” said Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13). “As our city reopens and prepares for the upcoming school year, it remains vital that we work to address and remove the roadblocks that students, families and teachers faced and ensure that we implement the most inclusive and accessible programs as we work to build back better and put our students on a path toward achievement and success. I commend Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Porter on today’s historic announcement and look forward to continuing my efforts at the federal level to ensure New York City students and families have the support needed during our recovery and reopening of the school year ahead.”
“As a former educator, I know the difference that investing in our schools and students can make. I’m very proud of the funding we were able to bring home to New York City through our federal covid response legislation, including the American Rescue Plan. I look forward to continuing to work with the Mayor and Chancellor Porter on bettering education for all of New York City’s students,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.
“As a parent advocate, I welcome the city’s universal academic recovery vision with great hope. It is critical for students in communities like the district I represent, who face significant educational and economic challenges, to be fully supported in their public school classrooms. Today by providing a roadmap for this $630M investment, the city is moving in the right direction. There is much more to be done with the increased state and federal funding to meet the priorities and needs of parents, teachers, and students—especially around reducing class sizes—but this plan puts us on the path to the brighter future our children deserve,” said Senator Robert Jackson.
"The Mayor and Chancellor are advancing a bold vision for NYC K-12 students, an idea made possible by our state budget finally accounting for the Campaign for Fiscal Equity ruling", said Senator Roxanne J. Persaud. "Equitable funding across our state and fair funding across our City will ensure that school children have access to strong education programs and wrap-around services in the coming year and many years after that."
"The pandemic has left an indelible mark on the education of our scholars. With remote and blended learning being a challenge for so many families in so many ways, we must make all strides necessary to regain ground that many of our students may have lost. The comprehensive wraparound services being planned under the universal academic recovery vision are not only laudable, but they are critical. Everything from providing digital toolkits and hardware to the investment of the social well-being and health of our students will have an impact and must be implemented in a manner that meets students and administrators where they are. I commend Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Porter for putting forth this initiative and I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure that every student in SD 14 can have full access to these resources,” said Senator Leroy Comrie.
"The transition to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic revealed systemic flaws and inequities in our education system that have been present for decades. This historic investment in our schools is crucial to create an education system that is equitable and ensures that all students are college-and-career ready, regardless of their background or location. I look forward to working with Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Porter to ensure that all of our students are supported and have the resources to recover stronger than ever from the impacts of the pandemic and succeed,” said Senator Alessandra Biaggi.
"By funding our schools, reducing class sizes in elementary schools, adding literacy coaches, and investing in technology for K-12 students, we can ensure more equitable academic outcomes for young New Yorkers," said Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn. "I applaud the Mayor and Chancellor Porter for this bold seven point initiative as families plan for the transitional year ahead and reintegrate to fully in-person learning. By investing in our schools, we are investing in a more just and fair recovery for our city."
"The COVID-19 pandemic deeply impacted students in underserved communities, including my own in the Bronx, causing increased academic and mental health struggles. I thank Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Porter for their commitment to ensuring that our students receive the resources necessary to get back on track and placed on a path towards academic and career success,” said Assemblymember Kenny Burgos.
“I applaud Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Porter for focusing on improving student literacy and investing in social emotional supports for students in this post-COVID era. Reading disabilities go undiagnosed or unaddressed in most communities, but the issue is particularly profound in communities of color. Every child should be screened for dyslexia and learning disabilities because early identification will allow us to target interventions before kids fall behind to ensure successful educational outcomes and break the school-to-prison pipeline. Literacy is a matter of social justice, and access to digital support devices is also critical to successful learning in a modern era,” said Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, a former special education teacher who currently holds state bills on dyslexia and learning-related disabilities.
"The Academic Recovery Plan recognizes that our students’ mental health is as important as their physical health; that they need support well outside class hours; that early intervention will make a lifetime of difference; that digital devices have gone from a luxury to a necessity; and that we must provide our special needs students with special resources. I also applaud the critical support this plan gives to multilingual learners, which will help children from immigrant communities succeed in America. After our students endured more than a year of distance learning, today's plan will put them back on a track for success,” said Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar.
"After a difficult year-plus of remote learning, I am grateful that our young scholars will be supported with the social, emotional, and technological resources they need for a safe and productive school year in the fall. The pandemic taught us a lot of lessons, particularly as it relates to the needs of students of color. I appreciate the efforts of the Administration and the Department of Education to collaborate with the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus and educators and parents of color for the past several months to create a more diverse, responsive, and forward-thinking curriculum. These new initiatives will serve to create broader historical awareness of the contributions of people of color and provide for the culturally sensitive instruction we have advocated for over the past several years," said Council Member I. Daneek Miller, Co-Chair of the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus.
"New York City's students need all the help and investments they can get after the tough year they had learning from home and dealing with the effects of the pandemic," said Council Member Ben Kallos. "This academic recovery plan which focuses on early literacy and making kids college ready will hopefully be successful at helping students claw back some of the academic losses they faced over the last year. Thank you Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Porter for this truly impressive investment and plan to help our kids get back to learning."
"From technology access to literacy rates, the pandemic laid bare the glaring inequalities in our city’s education system. As we recover, I’ve strongly supported increased investments into our school communities and classrooms. The Academic Recovery Plan is an important step forward, and I commend the Mayor and Schools Chancellor on their work fighting for students, teachers, and families," said Council Member Keith Powers.
"If we are to build a true success path for children's future, we need to ensure that as a City we are putting in resources that reflect the diversity and needs of our communities––from tackling the digital divide to investing in mental health, and more. This academic recovery plan is a step towards educational equity so that every child, no matter their background or circumstances, has the opportunity to truly thrive," said Council Member Francisco Moya.
“I have always said that education is the most important tool we can provide for our children to succeed, and I am grateful to Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Porter for their universal academic recovery plan. I am confident that this investment in our city’s learning infrastructure will help our young people pursue their educational and career goals while receiving the extra support they need to excel. It is important that we continue to empower our young people with essential learning resources and opportunities that provide education equity to underserved students, and I am a strong supporter of initiatives that will achieve this noble goal," said Council Member Mathieu Eugene.
“I am pleased to learn of the New York City Department of Education’s proactive Universal Academic Recovery Plan to guide our school communities in the wake of the pandemic. As a former educator, I am especially pleased that this plan strategizes and builds supports to help students both communally and individually. Today, more than ever, an investment in education is of the utmost importance,” stated Council Member Alan Maisel.
"These new financial investments and bolstered curriculum will make a huge difference for New York City students of all ages and backgrounds. I look forward to working with the Mayor's Office and DOE to ensure these programs are effectively implemented and that we continue to push for additional support in and out of the classroom for our children," said Council Member Carlina Rivera.
“Thanks to the Academic Recovery Plan, our young New Yorkers will be prepared for life beyond the classroom,” said Councilwoman Selvena Brooks-Powers. “The pandemic highlighted wide disparities in our city’s education system. By making critical investments in digital devices, literacy, health resources, and advanced programming, we can close these gaps and ensure that every child gets the education they deserve.”
"As the father of six children, I understand the need for a diversity of educational support. Our public school teachers have many skills, but advanced computer science has not been required for certification. The DOE will now certify over 5,000 educators in advanced computer science, filling a gap that the pandemic laid bare. As a longtime advocate for educational excellence, I am thrilled we are adding new college-prep courses—these should not only be available to a few schools. We have brilliant children in under-resourced neighborhoods and they deserve equal access to advanced courses. The impact of the pandemic will be felt by our students for decades to come. So it’s a proud moment that the DOE is addressing the long-term challenges of this cohort of students by hiring 500 social workers, expanding IEP support, and adding new materials to represent the diversity of ethnicities and learning styles. This recovery plan is a necessary step that our children deserve," said Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr.
“We are delighted to see that the academic recovery plan will provide increased resources for multilingual learners and immigrant students, promote college and career readiness for high school students, and focus on social emotional support as students begin to recover from a public health and economic crisis. We look forward to working with the Mayor and the Department of Education to make sure that this investment supports our Asian American and immigrant students across New York City,” said Wayne Ho, President and CEO, Chinese-American Planning Council.
"Parents of CEJ have fought hard for five years to bring this to fruition but we stand on the shoulders of generations of parents, students and educators in the decades before us who have been calling for this type of curriculum. We look forward to being a part of the process with fellow parents, students, educators and community in the creation process. This unprecedented investment in Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Education (CRSE) aligned Universal Mosaic Curriculum, is particularly historic because it signifies NYC taking a stand against racism and other forms of oppression during a time when conservative, racist forces across the country are trying to write people of color out of this nation's story. NYC is leading the nation by insisting on teaching the truth," said Natasha Capers, Director of the NYC Coalition for Educational Justice.
“As a nonprofit committed to the success of New York City’s children, youth, and families, we are thrilled to see the Department of Education investing in early literacy programs, college and career preparedness, special education services, and socio-emotional supports, which will all play a crucial role in helping our communities thrive in the aftermath of the pandemic. We also applaud the Department of Education for responding to the urgent call to introduce culturally responsive curriculum to all children and youth. New York City is home to a vibrant collection of histories, languages, and experiences, and when it comes to providing students with a holistic education that prepares them for success in school and life, representation matters," said Michelle Yanche, Executive Director at Good Shepherd Services
"CACF - the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families - is committed to uplifting the needs of marginalized Asian American students in our public school system - our students with disabilities, English language learners, students living in poverty, and families who struggle with language barriers. These students and families are often rendered invisible by the model minority myth, all while the real challenges they face have overwhelmingly been exacerbated by the pandemic. We are pleased to see historic investments being made to support them and reduce longstanding inequities, including targeted funding for special education services, universal access to a digital device, culturally responsive support for multilingual learners and immigrant students, and new, inclusive curricula that reflect our students’ rich diversity and histories. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with the Mayor’s Office and Department of Education to ensure that our students are always equipped with the tools they need to learn,” said Anita Gundanna and Vanessa Leung, Co-Executive Directors of CACF.