SAN FRANCISCO – Today, Mayoral candidate and Senator Leland Yee unveiled his policy plan to strengthen San Francisco’s public schools. The plan, entitled “It Takes a Community,” contains 22 specific commitments that Yee will embark on as Mayor to address the underlying problems facing the city’s school system and to help turn around public education within San Francisco.
Yee – the only candidate to attend San Francisco public schools as well as send his four children to public schools – unveiled his plan today along side teachers, parents and former students at Gordon J. Lau Elementary School (formerly Commodore Stockton School), where Yee was a student as a young child.
Yee’s plan includes policies to provide affordable housing for teachers, time off for parents to participate, free Muni for low-income students, community services through school programs, and more college savings accounts.
“The best way to keep families in San Francisco is to improve public education,” said Yee. “A fully engaged and committed Mayor, who works in partnership with the school district, teachers, and parents, can make a real difference. This 22 point plan will not only help our kids, but will help our entire community and improve our economy.”
Yee began his political career as member of the San Francisco Board of Education in 1988. Prior to serving as a Commissioner, Yee was an educator and child psychologist in the public schools. As a state legislator, Yee has fought for students and teachers – from authoring legislation to increase mental health services to voting against budget cuts to education.
As a result of his experience and commitment to public education, Yee is endorsed by the United Educators of San Francisco, California School Employees Association, and the California Nurses Association.
Yee has also been honored as the “Legislator of the Year” by the California Association of School Psychologists, California School Nutrition Association, California School Employees Association, Faculty Association of California Community Colleges, Associated Students of the University of California, and the California Faculty Association, among others.
“Leland Yee has been a child psychologist, a teacher in the classroom, and will always be an educator in his heart,” said Kim-Shree Maufas, Board of Education Commissioner. “He's one of us, he's been there for us, and he's the mayor who will be best for our schools.”
“Yee’s plan for schools demonstrates his commitment to education,” said Dennis Kelly, President of the United Educators of San Francisco. “San Francisco Teachers trust Leland to prioritize our kids and schools and we are proud to support Leland Yee for Mayor.”
The highlights of Yee’s plan include:
PUT STUDENTS FIRST
- Increase student success with wrap-around “community school” services
- Prioritize underperforming schools for community school reforms
- Reduce truancy and dropout rates, and expand programs for at-risk youth
- Free Muni for public school kids
- Promote school-based healthcare services for the entire family
- Expand nutrition education to improve healthy eating at home
- Bridge the digital divide
- Make college a goal for every student
- Make the Dream Act a reality
- Improve language proficiency for all students
RESPECT AND REWARD TEACHERS
- Expand teacher recognition and incentive programs
- Teacher Power: appoint educators to city boards and commissions
- Develop the best future educators by recruiting the best college graduates
- Real affordable housing for educators
- Help teachers pay for classroom materials
PROMOTE COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS
- Create network of community partners to expand reach of wrap-around services
- Expand and formalize partnerships with universities to share space, service-learning opportunities, and align strategic plans
- Expand partnerships with businesses to ensure college and career connectivity
- Create alliance of school and parent advocacy groups to improve connectivity and collaboration
ENCOURAGE PARENT PARTICIPATION
- Time off to attend school functions and parent-teacher conferences
- Support and promote the SFUSD Parent Engagement and Partnership Plan
- Community school wrap-around services for parents
To read Yee's entire plan, visit www.LelandYee.com.
Yee immigrated to San Francisco at the age of 3. His father, a veteran, served in the US Army and the Merchant Marine, and his mother was a local seamstress. Yee graduated from the University of California – Berkeley, then earned a Ph.D. in Child Psychology, and later served in various mental health and school settings. He and his wife, Maxine, have raised four children who all attended San Francisco public schools. Yee has served in the State Legislature, Board of Supervisors and Board of Education.