Otis Jennings Proposes a Partnership to Help Our Young People Be Successful
"When elected Mayor of the City of Syracuse, I will go back to school, with your kids," Otis Jennings said today, at a news conference outside Blodgett Elementary School where he unveiled his plan to revitalize the city's school system.
Jennings said, "I will take responsibility and work with the superintendent to improve our graduation rate. I will spend one day a week in school with your kids, their teachers, the staff, and administrators so I can build an unprecedented partnership between City Hall and the school district to improve the graduation rate and give our kids the skills and the tools to be successful."
Why? Because the graduation rate is only 50%.
"If you have two children in school," explained Jennings, "One of them is not likely to make it to graduation. You don't want that for your child, I know I don't want my child in that precarious position, unable to go to college, unable to find a job, unqualified for military service, and facing a dismal future."
The Say Yes to Education Program, which offers a free college education to Syracuse school graduates, is a good start. Jennings said it's a good incentive for students interested in college but we also need a program for students interested in the skilled trades so they can find good jobs or start their own businesses.
Why? Because over 60% of the Syracuse city budget goes to education.
"I will go to school with your kids so I can see first hand how your tax money is being spent, find more efficient ways to produce better results, develop partnerships to bring in more funding to create a citywide, neighborhood-focused integrated youth service delivery system that goes beyond the traditional school day," said Jennings.