By Andrea Karshan
Assemblywoman Diana Richardson(Crown Heights, Lefferts Gardens) went on the attack against mayoral control of the City’s schools in her State of the District Address delivered last night at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, 395 Lenox Road.
“When I see a disparity, I don’t care who is a friend of who. I am not going to vote for you (de Blasio),” she added.“Until the disparity in our school district is rectified and until the promises made to our schools are fulfilled by the Department of Education, I will not be voting for Mayoral control of schools,” said Richardson.
Richardson said simply to depend on mayoral control to sustain the school system puts the entire system under the morals and values of the current mayor which dictates the direction the schools will go.
“(I’ll) give you an example what I am talking about. Look at the mess Mayor Bloomberg created. Poor Bill de Blasio, he has to come in like Barack Obama and clean up a major mess,” she added.
Richardson cited schools that lack a computer lab, a gymnasium or a music teacher as part of the problem. She said we need to develop a system that educates all children regardless of where they live.
She promised to put her money where her mouth is and pledged to put nearly $1 million of capital money in the schools of her 43rd Assembly District.
Furthermore, Richardson proposed the creation of an Education Commission, whose mission would be to create a new administrative entity to oversee the city’s schools. This education commission would be comprised of educators, administrators and parents and would study education systems around the United States and the world.
City Council Member Laurie Cumbo (Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) and Crown Heights Democratic District Leader Geoffrey Davis were among about 100 people attending the speech.
The event also included a video presentation by the program director of Saving our Streets (SOS), David Gaskin, and another video highlighting some of Richardson’s work and accomplishments over the past year.
Her speech also addressed ongoing state legislation, housing, crime and next year’s agenda.
Richardson ended her speech warning the audience that personal attacks may be made against her in the future because “there are forces that do not want the things that I say to be said.”
She told the audience to be mindful of what they read and seek her out before they “believe some shenanigans.”
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