During my 2019 State of the City Address, I declared a state of emergency for all levels of education in Fontana.
We as a community must be a unified group and do what it takes to make every Fontana child successful.
Our educational and career readiness attainment must skyrocket and we need to push for higher standards across the board, because we are not substandard in any way, shape or form. We can do better -- that is the Fontana Way! From educational improvement goals to partnerships to creating the Fontana Mayor's Education Coalition, let's talk about how we can do better.
Since my re-election, I have worked with many people and groups to begin our journey of bringing this community together to define how Fontana's education system can improve. My last "Mayor Says" article focused on what the City's efforts currently look like and how we will continue to serve the educational needs of our community.
To summarize that article, I highlighted educational programs such as the Planning Academy, the Explorer Program, and many classes offered by our Community Services Department. I also talked about three main goals:
1) Increase the proficiency level so that every student can read, write and perform math.
2) Create career-ready pathways for every student regardless if they decide to attend college, join the military or seek a job.
3) Empower parents, community members, businesses, educators, elected officials and other organizations to assist in providing resources to enhance the educational experience and success of every student in our great city.
The City is invested into providing our students with opportunities through partnerships that build upon their current level of education. In doing so, these opportunities assist with increasing students' educational and career readiness.
Many of our residents are not aware that Fontana has five unified school districts, along with state community colleges, charter schools, private schools, and religious schools that all take care of educating our students. Our efforts aim to include each of these agencies and provide them all with additional support to ensure the success of Fontana's students.
We also want to serve our adult community and recent graduates by helping them reach their educational and career attainments. I have college graduates contacting me that they feel their degree is not marketable; we must assist their efforts too. Let's not forget that everyone matters!
Mayors in cities across the nation use a model called P3 (Public-Private Partnership) to assist in so many areas such as infrastructure, financing and development. These P3s are successful in creating a pathway to revitalize communities, and I want to apply it to our situation.
First, we are developing the Fontana Mayor's Education Coalition composed of educators, business, innovators and invited specialists to help create our strategy and obtain funding for this initiative. The opportunities exist; we just need to harness and bring them into Fontana.
Since November, information and opportunities have come our way that I never could have imagined. A variety of people and organizations have contacted me with information on how we can obtain needed resources, and we have already created valuable partnerships. The City of Fontana, the Fontana Chamber of Commerce, the business community, and the various school districts have begun to share and work with our efforts. We are one Fontana, and we are one team working toward bettering education for all in this great city.
As we develop these resources, I will continue to keep you updated. I'm excited and wish to hear from everyone who may have ideas to assist this effort. There is not just one answer to achieving the goals we seek to meet, and we need cooperation and ideas from everyone at every level. I'm confident that by working together, we can achieve getting Fontana to the next level which will continue to move Fontana forward!
(Acquanetta Warren is the mayor of Fontana.)