Syracuse mayoral hopeful Pat Hogan is proposing a ten-point education program for the Syracuse City School District. He's one of four candidates in a Democratic primary for mayor that includes incumbent Stephanie Miner.
Hogan calls education the elephant in the room when it comes to issues facing the city today. He says it's the perceived state of the city schools that drives many families to the suburbs.
"Many people choose not to stay in the city because of the city school system," Hogan said. "It seems to me you can't be mayor unless you work to reform city schools, and to try to have every kid have the best possible education they can get. We have to stop the perception that our city schools don't give that good of an education, which they do."
Hogan says that's why he's proposing the ten-point education reform plan, and at the top is a push for equality full-day pre-kindergarten.
He believes this can ultimately affect Syracuse's poor graduation rate, in which less than half of ninth grade students graduate within four years. The mayor's role in this involves what kind of funding priorities there should be when it comes to school spending.
"Front loading the funding for schools in pre-k right through fourth grade," Hogan said. "I think that's where you can make measurable gains in helping these families, these kids, on their way to be successful in schools."
Other suggestions include technical training for students, supporting completion of the school renovation programs that started seven years ago. He proposed teaming with community organizations to create more before and after school activities, and create a city campaign, to discourage bullying. Hogan also supports Say Yes to Education, which has been the focus of school reform in Syracuse in recent years.