Austin Shafran for City Council
3 min readMar 10, 2021

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Austin Shafran for City Council: Education Agenda

1) Universal Daycare, Expand 3K/Pre-K to All Districts.

2) Extended School Year and School Day.

Extended School Year. Move to a full year schooling model, with a two separate two-week Summer Breaks: #1 (End of June through July 4th week); #2 (End of August through Labor Day weekend). Phased in over four years — mandatory for incoming HS students, optional for K-8 (allowance of missing up to any four weeks without being penalized) — followed by fully mandatory for all students by year five. Current teachers/administrators and all school staff will receive time-and-a-half bonus for all additional days.

Extended School Day. Post-traditional school day vocational and physical fitness training with real world experts. Students already participating in athletic programs will receive exemptions. Two hours of practical world experience lectures and physical fitness training set inside/outside of the classroom. Arts, music, writing, science, math and new technology immersion.

3) Reform Mayoral Control. The current system of mayoral control needs substantial school governance reforms that do a far better job of taking into account the needs of parents, children and educators to improve educational quality and equality for all students. That requires greater transparency and accountability by the DOE, more parental and educator input in the decision-making process and decentralizing some of the Mayor’s authority by expanding that decision-making structure to include more stakeholders, and greater transparency and thought inclusion, and much greater support for educators because a system that better serves teachers, principals and school administrators enables them to better serve our children. Reforms should be centered around a system that reduces class sizes and overcrowding; addresses the racial disparity in graduation rates and closes the achievement gap; and levels the school funding formula playing field so that school districts aren’t pitted against each other for the same resources with some districts being winners and others being losers. School works best when educators and parents are respected and included in program and policy planning — and that should be the basic principle behind reforms to mayoral control:

  1. Greater access for parents and students through parent training centers, and expanded educator input in program and policy planning;
  2. PEP reforms including reshaping the board composition to include a member directly appointed by the UFT and CSA and also taking greater steps to ensure the Chancellor doesn’t have unlimited authority to make uninformed decisions;
  3. Greater opportunities for CECs to publicly review and influence proposals by PEP and the Chancellor (e.g. school closures, co-locations);
  4. Enhancing parental notification requirements on proposed actions; and
  5. Strengthening public audit tools by the Comptroller and also by the City Council over the DOE’s finances and procurement process.

4) Modernize School Construction and Planning. Ten-year plan that requires each district to have enough K-12 school seats to cover the anticipated number of students a district will have by 2032.

6) Reduce Class Sizes.

7) Increase and Make Permanent Fair Student Funding Formulas. Make the Fair Student Funding (FSF) Formula & the Teachers Choice Program permanent and reduce class sizes — the FSF formula should be “red-lined” in the city budget ensuring it retains a baseline level of funding and each year the only question would be how much more resources can be added and how to best allocate the funding equitably. Solidify the Teachers Choice Program as a permanent budget program with a guaranteed baseline level of funding set to increase at least by the same amount as the rate of inflation on an annual basis. City Council must hold the mayor more accountable to reduce the more than $6 billion being spent every year on central administration costs in order to spare FSF and Teachers Choice program from the perennial chopping block. Class size matters, where less is always more. We need to push state lawmakers to finally and fully fund the Contract for Excellence that was made and remains unfulfilled for the past 15 years to finally meet the reduced class size requirements it mandated.

8) Stop Cars From Illegally and Dangerously Passing School Buses During Drop Off and Pick Up

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Austin Shafran for City Council

Candidate for @NYCCouncil #CD19. Prez. @MPS_NYC . Dad of Mason & Teddy, partner of @JennShafran . (Opinions sometimes mine but mostly theirs and proud of it)