EDUCATION & YOUTH
As the Mayor, my top priority is to foster a spirit of partnership between the City and Atlanta Public Schools (APS). Over the years, there has been a longstanding tension between APS and the City, and this has affected the quality of education and overall well-being of our students. To address this issue, I intend to hire a Chief Education Officer who will focus on addressing youth and education issues, from cradle to career. This will include initiatives such as pre-k programs, student internships and job training, and coordination with technical colleges. Additionally, I will convene an APS/Mayor's Office Task Force with key constituents to ensure that the City provides the necessary support to our schools. We will build on the connections made with business leaders to create meaningful internship and mentoring opportunities for our youth. Furthermore, I am to strengthen coordination between APS and the Atlanta Department of Transportation to improve traffic safety in school zones. We’’ implement a phased approach to Free MARTA, starting with providing subsidies to students, seniors, disabled persons, and city employees followed by free MARTA access. Finally, we will create affordable housing in school zones and provide housing subsidies for teachers and public safety employees so that they can live in the communities where they work. By working collaboratively with APS, we can provide a better future for our children and ensure that they receive the education and support they deserve.
Atlanta's young people are our future. Continuing to invest in future generations puts them on pathways to success that will help us Move Atlanta Forward, together. As Mayor, I'm committed to making Atlanta the best place in the country to raise a family. That’s why I’ve announced that 2023 is the Year of the Youth.
I believe that our youth are the future of our city, and it is our responsibility to support them as they navigate the challenges and opportunities of modern society. By investing in our young people, we are investing in the future of Atlanta, and creating a city that is stronger, more vibrant, and more equitable for all.
As Mayor of Atlanta, I am proud to have launched a three-year $20 million plan to support early education efforts in our city. This plan is jointly funded by public and private dollars, with commitments from the City of Atlanta, Atlanta Public Schools, the United Way of Greater Atlanta, the Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation, and other private donors. Through this initiative, we are helping childcare centers improve their facility and programming quality, as well as providing subsidies to help families afford childcare and bonuses to attract and retain highly qualified early learning teachers. Our goal is to improve childcare access across all neighborhoods in Atlanta and provide opportunities for our youngest residents to thrive.
I’ve made several investments in safe alternatives for young people. He launched the Midnight Basketball League, which led to a measurable decrease in crime in the neighborhoods where it was played. Other programs like the At-Promise Initiative and Atlanta Police Athletic League engage youth and deter crime by connecting young Atlantans with wraparound services, activities and other support to help improve their quality of life and help them reach their full potential. Through my Summer Youth Employment Program, the City and its partners employed more than 3,000 young people with an average hourly wage of $16.63. This program helped reduce water sales by youth throughout the city—over the summer months the City received 43% fewer calls regarding water sales in 2022 as compared to 2021.
The Mayor’s Youth Scholarship Program (MYSP) was launched in 2005 with that belief in mind. MYSP helps cover expenses associated with college so that students can focus on their studies. In 2022, under my leadership, it provided scholarships to 88 students representing 34 universities. Fundraisers like the Mayor’s Cup Golf Tournament, the Mayor’s 5K on the 5th Runway, the annual Pride and Black Pride Receptions and After the Mayor’s Masked Ball support this program.
Additionally, the City of Atlanta partnered with the Urban League of Greater Atlanta to create a youth development grant program for local community-based organizations that serve K-12 students. This program strategically invests in grassroots efforts to provide students with meaningful enrichment opportunities, remediate learning loss, increase pathways to opportunity and improve public safety.