Senator Jose Peralta has been a true champion of public education, with a proven track record of advocacy and results. As a member of the Education Committee in the State Senate, he has been a leading voice in the struggle to relieve school overcrowding, increase public safety, push the passage of the New York DREAM Act, and promote summer reading and other critical educational programs.
Jose Peralta took part in the enactment of various reforms designed to improve the quality of teaching and learning. These and other reforms allowed districts to operate more efficiently by holding teachers and principals accountable for schools’ performance.
Senator Peralta also secured tens of millions of state dollars to build much-needed new schools and reduce severe overcrowding, including PS 287, PS 307, PS 143, PS 315, PS 330 and the Renaissance Charter School, all located in his district. Particularly at PS 143 in Corona, Senator Peralta proposed the construction of a permanent addition to accommodate hundreds of students from the mini-building and the temporary classroom units (trailers). Early this year, the City’s Department of Education and the School Construction Authority agreed to build the addition. And the new school buildings for PS 92 and IS 311 are slated to open this September, in time for the new school year. He work tirelessly to ensure the $2 billion Smart School Bond program continues. A portion of the funds from the bond money went to eliminate the tarnished trailers at PS 19, the largest elementary school in the City.
Jose Peralta has led the charge, along with parents and advocates, to help secure the presence of crossing guards at major intersections near schools in Queens. One of the new crossing guards for example, was placed near PS 228 in Jackson Heights, where a girl was tragically struck by a driver in 2014.
He supports mayoral control of the public schools in order to improve the public education, and at the same time, parents can become true advocates in their children’s learning process.
Senator Peralta has been a strong supporter of the Summer Reading Program, an initiative launched in cooperation with the public schools and the Queens Public Library. And at the start of every academic year, he organizes the now traditional Back to School (backpack and school supplies giveaway) for working class families.
Jose Peralta has been at the forefront of fighting for state-financed college tuition aid to undocumented students by urging his colleagues in the Legislature to pass the DREAM Act. As the battle to make the DREAM Act a reality continues, Senator Peralta fought hard to prevent any budget cuts to CUNY, and to maintain the $340 million in annual funding for the Statewide Universal Pre-K program.
Senator Peralta is a strong supporter of the increase household income eligibility for the state’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) from $80,000 to $100,000 in order to cast a wider net of potential college students.