Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Mayors' E-Day Event Shows Education's a City Priority

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Mayors' E-Day Event Shows Education's a City Priority

Article excerpt

The U.S. Conference of Mayors, led by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Seattle Mayor Norm Rice, prepped the press last week in anticipation of that group's "National Education Day" (E-Day). E-Day, which was observed November 21, 1996 by more than 160 cities, according to USCM, was designed to focus attention on the need for all segments of the community to contribute to the improvement of the public schools.

USCM President and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley proclaimed November 21 E-Day at the conference's summer meeting as part of its mayors' vote to make education a top priority of the conference. USCM will devote much of its winter conference platform in January to education.

E-Day, through activities at the local level, highlights the important link a successful education system has to the success of every aspect of a city or town, said Mayor Menino, a member of the National League of Cities Board of Directors.

From economic stability to public safety, added Mayor Rice "education is the equalizer for all opportunities. It's in everybody's self interest to have a successful education system."

When asked by a member of the press if the problems reported with education across the nation has to do more with low funding levels or poor management, Mayor Menino responded. "Its both funding and management. But it's about how you manage your funding." Mayor Menino used an example of a school in Boston that was adopted by a telecommunications company, yet the school was still operating with a single line telephone. "This is an example of misdirecting your resources."

Both mayors Rice and Menino stressed the need for each city or town to reserve the right to create its own relationship with its school system. In some municipalities an informal relationship between the mayor and the school superintendent is enough to meet the needs of the community; and in others the relationship may need to be more formal or in like in the case of Chicago the city runs the schools. …

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