Children represent the unlimited potential for our region, and Lyda will stand up for all kids at all times. As mayor, Lyda will be their voice. That means strengthening educational opportunities, focusing on their health and wellbeing, and working to make sure every child has the chance to succeed.
The job of the mayor is not only to lead but to collaborate and build coalitions. As mayor, Lyda will work with SLPS, parochial and charter public schools, and higher education institutions to create a collaborative education environment where every child has the opportunity to thrive.
Children’s Health and Wellness
“Children’s physical and mental wellbeing in school is fundamental to their success”
School-Based Health Services
In order for students to learn, they must be healthy and in school. Their physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing are fundamental factors driving educational outcomes, student behavior, and ultimately, the quality of our schools. Lyda will work collaboratively with St. Louis Public Schools, public charter schools, nonprofits, FQHCs and local health care organizations to provide the physical and mental health resources necessary to keep our students healthy and engaged. Simple steps can be taken to keep students healthy such as ensuring that there is a well-trained nurse in every school. Quality school nurses are able to handle day to day concerns and direct students to the proper clinics and centers when necessary. This small step will help keep students healthy and learning.
Collaboration between St. Louis City Department of Health and K-12 Schools
Lyda will be proactive by directing the Department of Health to review the safety of water and air in schools across the City and provide common sense recommendations for keeping our children safe and healthy from environmental factors. Lyda believes the Departments of Health and should have an active presence in our schools to focus on environmental health issues.
Intervention and support
Understanding the role neighborhood crime and violence has on our children is critical to ensuring they receive the proper care in the wake of a traumatic event. That’s why Lyda supports trauma informed schools and knows they are critical to the health and success of students. As mayor, Lyda will collaborate with schools, city and state agencies, nonprofits, and law enforcement to connect families with social services and other assistance for children who have experienced trauma. This commitment will extend beyond the walls of our schools. A child who is a victim of crime or witness to domestic violence will receive counseling and support services necessary to ensure their safety, health, and ability to recover and thrive.
Eliminate the school to prison pipeline
School discipline approaches like so called “zero tolerance” policies do not serve kids and perpetuate the school-to-prison pipeline. We must focus on disciplinary policies that encourage healthy choices and strong character, not policies that remove kids from structure and guidance when they need it most. Lyda will oppose legislation that makes it easier to criminalize children. Lyda will work with school leaders to create an equitable, welcoming environment for all students to learn and grow.
Supporting youth and recreation activities
The work of developing well-rounded, healthy kids must continue beyond the classroom. Lyda will increase funding for youth activities and recreation. This funding will provide students across St. Louis with after school tutoring and academic support, as well as opportunities to participate in athletic and other extra-curricular programs. In addition to providing more funding, Lyda will partner with the private sector to support these programs to ensure they are available to all St. Louis kids regardless of where they go to school.
Commitment to St. Louis Public Schools
Continuing to strengthen SLPS
A strong public school system is critical to the future of the City of St. Louis and to the futures of the thousands of children that enter them each day. The St. Louis Public School district has made dramatic improvements under the leadership of Dr. Kelvin Adams over the last ten years, recently becoming fully reaccredited. We must acknowledge that accreditation, while an important achievement, is a minimum standard and there remains much work to do.. While the district is not directly under the mayor’s purview, Lyda will work closely with Dr. Adams to make sure SLPS continues to move in the right direction until every school in the district provides the quality education our children deserve.
Quality Education for Every Child
“Choice without quality is no choice at all”
Vetting Charter Public School Applications
Well-run, community-focused charter public schools provide opportunity and choice in education to many St. Louis families. 10,000 kids are currently being educated by charter public schools in St. Louis. However, not every charter public school is successful. Providing a quality education to our children means demanding accountability for all our schools, whether public or charter public. This means that schools that are not high-performing should be closed. Lyda will build upon the mayor’s policy of vetting charter public school applications and support only the strongest of proposals that will result in quality educational opportunities for St. Louis students.
Supporting choice in education
Access to quality educational options is critical to keeping families in St. Louis. As such, we must make information on schools readily accessible to parents so they can make the best decision for their child. Currently, parents must apply to each charter, private, or magnet school separately. Lyda will work to create a streamlined, online database and application system for all schools. This will reduce the time parents must spend researching and completing paperwork and allow them to focus on identifying the best school for their child.
Reducing Infant Mortality
Infant mortality rates in parts of St. Louis are three times the national average, with African-American babies disproportionately impacted. This is unacceptable. As mayor, Lyda will work to remove barriers to healthy pregnancies and healthy babies by partnering city resources with nonprofit service providers, increasing awareness of available resources, and working to ensure that citizens have transportation options that connect them with the care they need.