New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Education

Overcrowding in East Side public schools threatens to deny a generation of children their constitutional right to a "<a href="http://www.cfequity.org/&quot; target="_BLANK"><strong>sound basic education.</strong></a>" We must make more school seats available now, build more schools to keep up with current development, and investigate new solutions for building educational infrastructure.<br><br>I have a strong commitment to public education that stems from being a graduate of the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bxscience.edu/&quot; target="_BLANK"><strong>Bronx High School of Science</strong></a>, State University of New York's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.albany.edu/&quot; target="_BLANK"><strong>University at Albany</strong></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://law.buffalo.edu/&quot; target="_BLANK"><strong>University at Buffalo Law School</strong></a>. I helped create Community Board 8’s Youth and Education Committee, identified a&nbsp;<a href="http://kallosforcouncil.com/sites/default/files/DYCD_Bus.pdf&quot; target="_BLANK"><strong>Free Yellow Bus Program</strong></a>&nbsp;for local youth service providers, and created an internship program to better serve the youth and education needs of our community. As your Council member I will continue to fight for increased funding for youth services and education.

Upper East Side Patch East Side Electeds Hail Education Funding In Federal Stimulus by Nick Garber

East Side Electeds Hail Education Funding In Federal Stimulus

City Councilmember Ben Kallos, Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright and U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney spoke Tuesday outside Eleanor Roosevelt High School.

City Councilmember Ben Kallos, Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright and U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney spoke Tuesday outside Eleanor Roosevelt High School. (Office of City Councilmember Ben Kallos)

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — A cohort of Upper East Side politicians and educators celebrated the billions of dollars heading to New York City as part of the federal stimulus package, highlighting the funding for schools in a news conference Tuesday.

The $1.9-trillion American Rescue Plan includes $5.2 billion for 3-K, pre-K and other education funding for New York, according to U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who spoke Tuesday morning outside Eleanor Roosevelt High School.

Maloney said the funding would help schools safely reopen during the pandemic and fund universal 3-K across the city's school districts

Our Town As the mayor announced that he would expand the free universal program to every school district in the city, Kallos is hoping to scale up seats on the UES by EMILY HIGGINBOTHAM|

As the mayor announced that he would expand the free universal program to every school district in the city, Kallos is hoping to scale up seats on the UES

When Mayor Bill de Blasio launched his free universal pre-Kindergarten program in 2014, the Upper East Side was only allotted 100 seats. It was a blow to parents in the neighborhood, where need greatly outsized availability. In the intervening years, the number of pre-K slots steadily grew to universal access, with about 70,000 four-year-olds currently enrolled across New York City.

This week the de Blasio administration announced the city is using federal stimulus funds to expand its free universal 3K program to every school district in the city – amounting to an additional 16,500 seats and 40,000 seats total – by this fall, and UES City Council Member Ben Kallos said he is already doing everything he can to ensure his district gets its fair share of those spots this time around.

“We’ve already gotten all hands on deck in my office to reach out to every provider that currently offers pre-K and every school that currently offers pre-K to find out how many additional seats they can accommodate,” Kallos, who is term-limited and running for Manhattan Borough President, told Our Town. Seats in the 3K program come from city-funded private daycare providers, DOE preschools, Head Start classes and home-based childcare programs.

Kallos said he’s contacting co-op boards looking for empty storefronts and keeping tabs on empty Duane Reeds for the city to potentially buy and convert to facilities for the 3K program.

“I’m going to spend the next six months, hopefully, working with parents, providers, and the real estate community to scale up as many seats as quickly as possible,” said Kallos. “I want as many of those seats to come to the Upper East Side as possible.”

A Recovery for All of Us: Mayor de Blasio, Chancellor Porter, Announce Major Expansion of 3-K for All to Reach Every District by This Fall

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

City, in partnership with City Council, will expand free, full-day, high-quality early childhood education to an additional 16,500 three-year-olds across New York City 

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter today announced that in partnership with City Council, 3-K for All will expand to the remaining sixteen community school districts in the 2021-22 school year – bringing free, full-day, high-quality 3-K to up to 16,500 more three-year-olds across New York City. By this fall, the City will support approximately 40,000 3-K seats across all 32 community school districts.  

In addition to expanding to School Districts 1, 12, 14, and 29 this fall as previously announced, the City will expand to offer 3-K to as many families as possible in the remaining sixteen school districts: 2, 3, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 28 and 30. 3-K is already offered to every three-year-old in School Districts 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 16, 19, 23, 27, 31, and 32. 

“3K has been invaluable for so many kids and working families across our city,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Now, as we build a recovery for all of us, we are bringing 3K to every district across our city, giving more kids the quality head start they need to grow and thrive.” 

“Providing a high-quality education to every New York City student starts with our youngest children, and I’m thrilled to expand 3-K for All to reach every district citywide and bring access to thousands more three-year-olds and their families during this critical time,” said Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter. “These programs provide children with an invaluable head start in school and life, and I encourage families to explore the 3-K and Pre-K for All options available in their communities and apply.” 

Like Pre-K for All, 3-K for All relies on the partnership of community-based organizations, including Head Start programs, child care agencies, and family child care providers. The timing of the expansion aligns with the culmination of the City’s historic commitment to achieve pay parity for certified early childhood education teachers by October 2021, a goal which is on track to be met. Achieving a pathway to pay parity between early childhood educators in community-based organizations and those working in district schools completes the promise made by the Mayor and City Council to the provider community during summer 2019, as part of agreements with District Council 37, the Day Care Council of New York, and the Head Start Sponsoring Board Council, as well as a commitment to non-represented teachers. Certified teachers saw phased-in wage increases beginning in October 2019. Non-certified teachers and support staff have also seen increases in compensation. 

3-K for All is the nation’s most ambitious effort to provide universal, free, full-day, high-quality early childhood education for every three-year-old child and builds on the success of Pre-K for All. High-quality 3-K helps to make sure children are prepared for kindergarten and have a strong start in school and life. 

“My daughter is 3 years old, and 3K for All is a lifeline that will make it easier for countless families like mine to stay in New York City and thrive. After this pandemic forced our children into isolation for a year, New York City parents will be relying on 3K for All to help our children catch up,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “Child care on the Upper East Side starts at $30,000 and that’s if you can get a seat. Few can afford this and it’s forcing families out. 3K for All is a game changer, giving every child the fair start that they deserve. Countless families including mine are breathing a sigh of relief with today’s announcement. I know I’ve been persistent about getting UPK and now 3K rolled out, but this was too important for our children’s future to leave it up to the next administration. I want to thank Mayor Bill de Blasio for staying true to his word in making Universal Pre-Kindergarten a reality and now 3K for All by 2021. When it is safe to do so I am giving the Mayor a hug.” 

Bloomberg NYC Plans Citywide Expansion of Free Preschool for 3-Year-Olds by Henry Goldman

NYC Plans Citywide Expansion of Free Preschool for 3-Year-Olds

The service is worth about $10,000 to the average family, according to new Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter. The stimulus-relief package made the expansion possible, according to the mayor.

“That’s quite a legacy that will be felt by countless families,” said Ben Kallos, a Democratic councilman representing Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where he said preschool spots typically cost $30,000 a year.

Upper East Side Patch NYC 3-K Will Go Free Citywide In September, De Blasio Says by Matt Troutman

NYC 3-K Will Go Free Citywide In September, De Blasio Says

A cavalcade of City Council members who've long pushed for universal 3-K joined de Blasio and Porter. Council Member Ben Kallos noted he has a 3-year-old daughter himself and said his family will be applying for the program.

"Mayor de Blasio, I've been asking for this for so many years, what will we talk about?" Kallos said.

De Blasio said the ultimate goal for the program is about 60,000 slots for children.

 

Announcing 3K for All Expansion in 2021 and Commitment to Assist with Rollout from Council Member Ben Kallos

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

“My daughter is 3 years old, and 3K for All is a lifeline that will make it easier for countless families like mine to stay in New York City and thrive.

“After this pandemic forced our children into isolation for a year, New York City parents will be relying on 3K for All to help our children catch up.

“Child care on the Upper East Side starts at $30,000 and that’s if you can get a seat. Few can afford this and it’s forcing families out, even before the pandemic.

“3K for All is a game changer, giving every child the fair start that they deserve.

“Countless families including mine are breathing a sigh of relief with today’s announcement.

“I know I’ve been persistent about getting UPK and now 3K rolled out, but this was too important for our children’s future to leave it up to the next administration.

“I want to thank Mayor Bill de Blasio for staying true to his word in making Universal Pre-Kindergarten a reality and now 3K for All by 2021. When it is safe to do so I am giving the Mayor a hug.

New York Post NYC families say DOE dropped French dual-language program at last minute by Selim Algar

NYC families say DOE dropped French dual-language program at last minute

City Councilman Ben Kallos, who also pushed for the program, called for its reinstatement.

“The faster we bring the program to more francophone families that need it, the better off the children will be,” he said.

Gotham Gazette A Universal Internet Guarantee to Bridge the Digital Divide for Every New Yorker by Ben Kallos and Eric Adams

A Universal Internet Guarantee to Bridge the Digital Divide for Every New Yorker

A plan for internet access at school and home (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)

The coronavirus pandemic has shown all of us the importance of a reliable high-speed home internet connection, whether for remote learning and working from home or for gathering virtually with loved ones. There is a common cliché that “the virus doesn’t discriminate,” but the reality is that coronavirus disproportionately harms low-income communities of color impacted by systemic racism in government and the private sector.

With many households in these communities lacking high-speed internet, the shift to social distancing has been particularly challenging. As we prepare for a second wave, or for the next virus, we must rebuild our society with the guarantee of universal broadband—finally treating the internet as a utility like phone service or electricity. We must use all of New York City’s local regulatory power to deliver on the promise of universal broadband by establishing a Universal Internet Guarantee.

Mayor de Blasio recently took a step in the right direction when he announced $157 million in funding to expand broadband internet access to 600,000 underserved New Yorkers, including 200,000 public housing residents. But New York City’s public housing authority (NYCHA) has 173,762 public housing units, home to 381,159 authorized residents, and this plan could still leave half without internet. More than 1.5 million New Yorkers do not have broadband, and this plan would leave nearly 1 million of them on the wrong side of the ‘digital divide.’

To deliver truly universal broadband, we need several fixes at once. We could start with rezoning to require affordable Mandatory Inclusionary Internet, just like we required affordable housing with Mandatory Inclusionary Housing. We could create incentives for 5G providers to offer affordable access. We can require cable providers to expand affordable internet offerings we already won to every single low-income New Yorker. And if the providers won’t do it, we can take over their networks and do it ourselves by establishing a municipal broadband network.

We can upgrade existing infrastructure by speeding along the conversion of old payphones into free internet kiosks and add WiFi to bus stops. We can even open up the city government’s wireless network to the public.

The pandemic has shown us the importance of giving every public school student who needs one a laptop and affordable broadband in the home to eliminate the ‘homework gap’ (that became a ‘schoolwork gap’ during the pandemic) and give a whole new generation a real chance at equity. Where all else fails, for those we still haven’t reached in low-income communities of color, we must invest the millions promised by the mayor in businesses owned and operated by women and people of color to spur innovation and connect every last New Yorker.

In partnership together, with an eye toward each of our roles in the city’s franchising, we have authored a report that focuses on some of the most important aspects of the digital divide and proposed solutions to help close it and bring us closer to the equitable New York City we need to move toward immediately.

Read the full report here.

***
Eric Adams is the Brooklyn Borough President and has a vote on internet franchises through the FCRC. Ben Kallos is a New York City Council Member with a vote on internet franchise authorizations in the City Council. On Twitter @BKBoroHall & @BenKallos.

Voice of America Community Centers, Museums Become Schools by John Russell

Community Centers, Museums Become Schools

In New York City, Council Member Ben Kallos pushed for unused stores and buildings to be used as classrooms, along with libraries and senior centers. But the idea did not go far because of concerns about laws, costs and other issues.

Kallos said that New York had many empty stores before the health crisis. That problem has only gotten worse.

“It seems only natural that the city could have activated each and every one of these spaces to serve our children in this time of need. It is disappointing and …. irresponsible that the city didn’t do it,” Kallos said.