N.Y. Mayor de Blasio: 'Our mission is to redistribute wealth'

The progressive mayor says he is attempting to 'close the COVID achievement gap' that has negatively impacted minority students.

Published: December 21, 2020 7:53am

Updated: December 21, 2020 9:00am

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared last week that the only way to end the structural racism that plagues New York City public schools, is to redistribute the city's wealth.

During a coronavirus news conference, the progressive mayor described his efforts to "profoundly change the distribution of resources."

"I like to say very bluntly that our mission is to redistribute wealth," said the second-term mayor. "A lot of people bristle at that phrase, and that is in fact the phrase we need to use." 

He went on to say that for his full tenure in office thus far he has been working to create a more equitable distribution of resources among the city's public schools. "It means changing school funding formulas," he said. "It is time to start using every tool at our disposal to address inequality and improve the education of all children.

Two weeks ago, homeless families of New York City and their legal representatives filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming 27 homeless shelters across the boroughs were not receiving reliable internet service, causing school-age children to struggle with remote classes during the pandemic.

The Legal Aid Society announced its intentions with a tweet.

"We just filed a class action lawsuit against the de Blasio Administration for its failure to provide students who reside in City shelters access to reliable internet service so they can attend school remotely," wrote the non-profit. 

An attorney for the homeless families and their children accused the de Blasio administration of being little more prepared to combat the realities of virtual schooling for the city's most vulnerable students than it was back in March, despite having close to 10 months to work out viable solutions. 

"There are so many things that we have tried to do to profoundly rebalance the equation," said de Blasio. "Community schools, focusing on schools that need the most in communities that have not been invested in."

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