Education, economic, criminal justice, and healthcare systems are plagued with outdated processes and procedures that are negatively impacting outcomes of success for Rochester area residents. Natalie will be your Assemblywoman who will think innovatively and routinely assess policies for sustainability and effectiveness for the 137th District. As a bold and forward-thinking representative, Natalie will build a successful present and future for our region.
Natalie will be in Albany representing the 137th District using laser focus to implement comprehensive planning and systematic changes that will eliminate the existing disparities in the pipeline of funds and resources from Albany to the 137th District.
Education for All
As a School Board Commissioner, Natalie has gained knowledge and understanding of the system and systemic barriers that cause crises in school districts, as evidenced in the Rochester City School District (RCSD). In her elected role she has viewed and assessed the educational, social, and fiscal policies that are antagonistic to the RCSD thriving.
Natalie understands the collaborative efforts that are needed between families, educators, policymakers, Board of Education members and Unions to break down barriers to educational success. Natalie’s priority is to increase the awareness of the community of their role as stakeholders and the roles of the state legislature on local governance. In addition, Natalie will effectively advocate for supports and funding that will focus on the whole child and their lifelong success.
Monroe County saw
a graduation rate as low as 63% and dropout rate as high as 17% for 2018-2019 school year. Research indicates
students who read at grade level by the 3rd
grade are more likely to graduate than students who do not. Natalie will put forth legislation that will invest in
resources to strengthen primary education which will increase the likelihood
students experience successful
intermediate and secondary years in efforts to
positively impact graduation rates. This legislative action will also aid
efforts to eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline. Student success also
requires adequately funding school districts.
As of 2019, the 137th District is owed $91,227,539 in Foundation Aid ($86,145,094 for RCSD and $5,082,445 for Gates-Chili School District). The delinquent funds have created a sizeable budget deficit for the RCSD and prompted mid-year personnel cuts. These cuts exacerbates challenges and reduces opportunities students need to be successful in the classroom and beyond.
As the 137thAssembly District Representative, Natalie will fight for fiscal equity and work tirelessly to acquire funds owed to the 137th District by the State of New York.
Natalie will work towards legislation that will boost student success in career and/or college readiness. Being career and/or college ready are the two main goals for children in the NYS P-12 educational system. After graduating high school, students may need to take remedial courses (in Math, English, or both) before they are ready to take college level courses. Unfortunately, these courses take from the maximum limits NYS students have for TAP and Pell Grants. This decrease in grant available funds reduces the likelihood of students completing their degree. Natalie will advocate for families by supporting avenues where students can complete their remedial coursework without depleting their grant limits. Avenues can include finding additional financial resource options and looking into existing successful programs (such as CUNY Start) and see how they can be implemented throughout NYS.
Currently, many Career and Technical Education (CTE) Programs are not full programs which lead to graduation. Natalie will propose legislation that will expand (CTE) Programs and allow them to have unique graduation criteria which better aligns with trade programs and also allows for students to acquire a New York State High School Diploma.
Natalie believes in a fair criminal justice system which supports the victims, and addresses the needs of the community safety through ensuring to provide resources for rehabilitative strategies for individuals who commit crimes. Natalie will advocate for criminal justice reforms which takes into account justice for all.
New York State is moving towards strengthening evidence-based practices to address the needs of youth who commit crimes, communities will play a larger role in supporting youth offenders and their families. Changes with the Persons In Need of Supervision (PINS) and Families First legislations will require that more financial resources are provided to Counties to create or expand community based programming to ensure the youth and their families have adequate supports.
It will be necessary to develop and expand the capacity of services that community based organizations provide to youth and their families as New York State shifts it’s response to be more therapeutic in contrast to detaining youth within facility settings. Natalie will be a strong advocate in making sure there are adequate resources to assist youth with developing job skills and obtaining employment, have appropriate access to mental health providers, and the needs of their families are addressed holistically. Natalie will also work to incentive community based organizations who provide supports to the entire youth group whom engages in organized criminal activities.