Avella Announces Legislation To Save Specialized High School Exams & Improve K-8

    Sen. Tony Avella

    State Sen. Tony Avella (D-College Point, Whitestone, Bayside, Flushing, Jamaica Estates, Fresh Meadows, Bellerose, Floral Park, Jamaica, Douglaston, Little Neck, Auburndale, Kissena Park, Briarwood) today will announce legislation he will the Department of Education’s gifted programs at elementary and middle schools to help more students better compete for selective public high schools.

    The measure would require that each of the city’s 32 school districts offer a middle-school gifted program in addition to the elementary-school one, which usually admits students through the city’s standardized gifted-and-talented test.

    Additionally, the measure calls for elementary and middle schools with at least four classes per grade to offer an advanced class for top performers, with students admitted by their academic records.

    Avella and other lawmakers and supporters will announce the legislation at 1 p.m. today, July 31 on the steps of City Hall in Lower Manhattan.


    Holden Comments on “Ill-Advised” Glendale Homeless Shelter Proposal

    City Council Member Bob Holden

    City Council Member Robert Holden (D-Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, parts of Woodside, Woodhaven) yesterday said he worked throughout the weekend and yesterday to address the ill-advised proposal to place a 200-bed men’s homeless shelter at 78-16 Cooper Avenue.

    “After speaking to DHS (Department of Homeless Services) Commissioner Steven Banks on Friday morning, and on Friday night, and with Mayor de Blasio on Sunday, I relayed that area residents would in no way accept a large out-of-character homeless shelter at the proposed location,” said Holden.

    Holden said last year’s “Turning the Tide on Homelessness” plan released by the administration devotes an entire chapter to community engagement and public awareness, yet with this shelter proposal and many others throughout the city, community engagement is lacking, and elected officials have no input.

    “The mayor asked to meet with myself and Commissioner Banks this week to discuss this location, which I welcome, as I would like to relay to them why this location is unsuitable and needs to be off the table,” Holden said.

    Holden believes that residents have mobilized in the past and that they will again if this the DHS insists on this location. Considering the importance of community engagement, Holden plans on hosting town halls pending consultation with the administration.

    “Rest assured; I will do everything in my power to defeat this senseless and inappropriate proposal to place a men’s homeless shelter in Glendale,” said Holden. I have fought against this location in the past and will continue to do so; this is unacceptable.”


    Sanders Announces Mosquito Spraying Schedule

    State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

    State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park, Jamaica, Rochdale Village, Rosedale, parts of Far Rockaway) yesterday reminded residents the city’s Health Department will spray to reduce mosquito activity and risk of West Nile Virus today.

    Trucks will spray pesticides in sections of Queens today between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. the following morning, weather permitting. In case of bad weather, application will be delayed until Wednesday, August 1.

    Below is the schedule:

    New Peralta Campaign Video Demonstrates Dedication to Education

    State Senator Jose Peralta

    State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Woodside) yesterday released a new campaign video ahead of the Sept. 13 primary election focussing on Peralta’s education highlights and accomplishments over his last two terms.

    The short video spotlights various victories such as the $36 million that Peralta secured for Queens education funding, investment in Project BOOST, which gives opportunities to low-income students, and the construction of 12 new schools in District 13 which created 7500 new seats.

    “As a Queens native, I have experienced the benefits of quality public education firsthand, from Flushing High School to Queens College. My role in the Senate Education and Higher Education Committees has been instrumental in determining what more needs to be done to make New York schools better, and I am immensely proud of the massive investments we have made in real dollars and cents that have gone directly into our children’s education,” said Peralta.

    “We have made great strides in Albany to improve our schools, but there are still gaps we need to fill in. Education truly is the first step in making a better Queens, a better New York, and a better nation,” he added.

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