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NEW BRIEF

Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced two new plans that could determine the future of the country’s largest child care system for poor and low-income families. First, the Mayor wants to expand his well-regarded “Pre-K for All” program for 4-year-olds (also known as universal pre-K) to provide free preschool to 3-year-olds as well. The projected multi-year expansion is called “3-K for All.” 

Also huge—EarlyLearnNYC, the City’s massive subsidized early education system, will move from its current home at the Administration for Children’s Services to the City’s Department of Education (DOE), adding children as young as 6-weeks-old to the department's portfolio. 

Will the new plans further disrupt a child care system still reeling from challenges that arose from pre-K expansion, including a roughly 20 percent decline in enrollment of 4-year-olds since the expansion? Or might they present a key opportunity for the DOE to identify and address those challenges? 

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NEW REPORT

Adrift in NYC: Family Homelessness and the Struggle to Stay Together

As family homelessness in New York City continues to climb and the City fights to open 90 new shelters, a new report by the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School offers insight into how family shelters are missing opportunities to avert a hidden but common catastrophe of homelessness: families breaking apart.

The report, Adrift in NYC: Family Homelessness and the Struggle to Stay Together,” sheds light on the academic research showing that homelessness and family breakup go hand in hand. Partners separate from partners. Children separate from parents – both through informal arrangements with friends and relatives as well as through mandated foster care placements. And what begins as a temporary arrangement often proves lasting. Family members who do stay together often do so against a relentless backdrop of fear that, having lost their homes, they will next lose one another.

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House Republicans' first big effort to get rid of Obamacare has died a noisy death (at least for now). The implications for New York are big: Had the proposed “repeal and replace” American Health Care Act become law, State officials estimate that more than a million New York residents would have faced a significant loss of health care, and that the State, its counties, and hospitals would have taken a cumulative hit of more than $4.5 billion over four years.

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Announcing the winners of the Prized Solutions competition! See the winning projects here.

This competition identified exemplary research and ideas from New School students that focused on issues impacting New York City. Each of the winners will present their work during a panel discussion to an audience of peers, policy makers, and supporters.


NEW INITIATIVE

Across the city, social service agencies are increasingly employing staff who’ve themselves had run-ins with the law as “Credible Messengers” to other court-involved youth. It’s a recognition of the powerful positive impact mentors who’ve had similar life experiences can have in changing young lives. 

To foster this important work, the Center for New York City Affairs is pleased to announce the launch of the Institute for Transformative Mentoring (ITM). ITM is a training program focused on the professional and personal development of such Credible Messengers. It’s a semester-long course, developed with Credible Messengers and the help of training and education experts and foundation and non-profit leaders, that’s designed to enhance the practical skills of Credible Messengers and also further the healing of their own lives. ITM will support the work of this unique and growing workforce.  

For more information, click here.


URBAN MATTERS

‘Sunset Park Connect’: A Design Strategy to Reduce School Overcrowding

By Lyric Kelkar, Eduarda Aun, and Zara Farooq

While many elementary schools in New York City face overcrowding, Sunset Park is home to some of the worst instances. Eight of 10 schools in Sunset Park are overcrowded, and some classes are held in hallways and in rooms with no windows. Sunset Park is also a diverse community of immigrants; nearly 50% of its residents are foreign-born from a multitude of countries. The languages and cultures in this neighborhood act as unifiers but also dividers. There are visible divides in Sunset Park where each ethnic group lives.

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URBAN MATTERS

A Healthier Brooklyn Means Better Preventive Care – and Better Lifestyle Choices

By Eric L. Adams

There are many issues facing the residents of Brooklyn – with some 2.6 million people, New York City’s most populous borough. While affordable housing and employment remain my top priorities as borough president, there is another challenge that does not get as much attention or debate that also needs greater scrutiny: public health.

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SPOTLIGHT

Report | Education

InsideSchools visited 80 elementary schools to find out how some formerly high-poverty schools have succeeded in attracting children from a range of races, ethnicities and income levels.

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The City can do much more to foster economic integration of elementary schools than the small scale efforts it has made to date. Here are five feasible steps we believe the City can take.

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