Mayor de Blasio to unveil new education initiative for New York City schools Wednesday

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Dave Evans is in the Morrisania section of the Bronx with more (WABC)

Eyewitness News has learned Mayor Bill de Blasio will unveil a new education initiative Wednesday.

It includes everything from improving reading skills of elementary school children to offering more college level classes in high schools.

The mayor is embarking on a radically different agenda for the city's schools. Crews are getting ready for his speech at Bronx Latin School, and in an exclusive interview, he gave us a preview.

"Let's be real about the fact that the modern economy demands a much higher level of education and we want New York City to continue to be a global leader," the mayor said.

So de Blasio will call for:

-All 400 high schools to offer AP, advance placement, classes. When it's fully rolled out, it will cost $51 million a year.
-Also, the city will hire 700 new reading teachers to concentrate on the 2nd grade. That will eventually cost $75 million a year.
-And late Tuesday, Eyewitness News confirmed that the mayor will announce a 10 year deadline to have all schools offering computer science.

"Too many students are learning to type when they should be learning to code. This public-private partnership is going to open so many doors for students, beginning in their earliest grades. It's going to ensure that New York City public schools are producing the tech talent employers are demanding," de Blasio said in a statement.

The mayor says pre-K for all four year olds will help a lot. But now the focus is getting kids reading at grade level before they're 9.

"We've known this for years and years in this city, only 30 percent of our kids were reading at grade level by the 3rd grade, we weren't in the right place. So we have to do something different," said de Blasio.

The reason? If you can't read well while young, you likely won't when older. And that often determines your course in life.

"Today more and more you need a higher-level of education, at least a two year degree or hopefully a four-year-degree," said the mayor. "That doesn't mean every kid will get one or every kid needs one to succeed, but for more and more of the good-paying jobs like in the technology field, some further education is necessary."

About a third of all high schools don't have advance placement classes. Wednesday's announcement will be one more step toward long-term change and a foundation for success in life.

"No one ever said there's going to be perfect equality in our society," de Blasio said. "We're human beings. But we haven't even come close to providing the kind of support to get our kids to be as good as they can be."
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educationeducationMayor Bill de Blasionew york city schoolsNew York City
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