New York City will offer free sample glassware to students and staff at all four public schools for the first time, city officials said Wednesday.
The move follows a request from Mayor Bill de Blasio and Education Commissioner Michelle Rhee, who said they wanted to make sure students are getting a “quality education.”
Citywide, public schools will also offer free glassware from their collections at participating locations, including the city’s public libraries, to school children.
The program will begin in September, and schools will offer their collections for free to students, staff and faculty through fall 2019.
The city plans to make up the difference by collecting and shipping the glassware, said de Blasio.
New York City schools will serve as the test case for the policy, which will apply to all public schools.
Schools will also be allowed to sell their glassware for $3.25 per sample, according to a press release.
The policy is part of the de Blasio administration’s push to make school and community life more convenient and inclusive, a goal that has come under intense scrutiny as more and more students have left school in droves.
The city already offers free glass to students through the city department of education.
But last fall, the administration implemented a plan to make glass free for students at schools, with the aim of making glass more accessible and accessible to everyone, including those who may not be able to afford to buy their own.
But while the policy will make glass more available, schools are still expected to charge a fee for their glass.
This will apply regardless of the amount of glass that is served, as long as the sample is at least $2.50, the department said.
To help schools keep up with demand, the city has been working with local businesses and retailers to offer samples.
The mayor said that while the new policy is not the same as the citywide initiative, it is aimed at making glass accessible to students who may have difficulty buying their own glass.
The initiative comes amid a national debate over how best to make schools more affordable, accessible and inclusive.
Many students have said that schools that provide a lot of free or discounted food and drink can be a magnet for students to drop out of school and to drop-out in large numbers.
Last month, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a law requiring schools to offer a free or reduced-price meal for every student.
That includes food, such as lunch and dinner, that is available for free.
It also includes school supplies such as books and supplies for school projects, according the governor’s office.