For families with children, public schools are at the center of community life. They serve many vital functions:  they provide children with essential skills for life and work, advancement and opportunity, and they provide a social, nutritional and health safety net for the most vulnerable among us. They are a workplace for dedicated teachers and staff whose well-being is vital to the schools’ success. The opening of our spectacular new high school building demonstrates the city’s dedication to excellence in education and a vital future.

Our model for education should be expansive. Just as we educate the whole child in intellectual, emotional, social and physical growth, our schools should be part of their broader community. We can enhance adult education and forge partnerships with businesses, universities, and organizations.

Equity must be an integral part of education policy: we must address opportunity gaps, promote greater staff diversity, direct funding to the schools with the most challenges, and support our bilingual learners with expanded and innovative programs.