WE’RE in an era where government resources are stretched very thin, and we are cutting budgets across the board.

But last week we showed that we’re still moving ahead on projects to grow our economy and improve the futures of more of our public school students.

Affordable housing, great schools, good mass transit access, and beautiful parks and green spaces — that’s the recipe for keeping middle-class families in New York City.

Last Wednesday we kicked off a project that combines all of those elements.

We selected a development team to build the first phase of Hunter’s Point South in Queens.

Hunter’s Point South is the largest middle-class housing development to be built in our city since the 1970s.

It will include thousands of new affordable apartments, 11 acres of waterfront parkland, shops and restaurants, and a new environmentally-friendly public school that will accommodate more than 1,000 students in the middle and high school grades.

All of this development is taking place on an abandoned stretch of once-industrial waterfront that borders Long Island City, one of the fastest-growing neighborhoods in the city.

Starting this spring, this area and many communities in North and South Brooklyn will be served by expanded East River ferry service that will provide direct links to Wall Street and Midtown Manhattan, as well as Governors Island.

Soon, thousands of teachers, nurses, police officers, and other middle-class families will be living in affordable apartments in Hunter’s Point South, taking the ferry to work, and coming home to watch the sun set over the city skyline.

In March, the city will begin building the Hunter’s Point South infrastructure, including its sewers and roadways.

This summer, we’ll start constructing the first waterfront park.

Next summer, the first residential buildings will start going up.

And the new school there should be ready to welcome its first class of students in the fall of 2013.

We’re working hard to build schools for the 21st century and raise standards in our classrooms.

But our children will not benefit from that work unless they show up to class.

Sadly, far too many of our students miss too much school.

Last August, just before the beginning of the current school year, we kicked off an ambitious new effort to reduce such chronic absenteeism.

We called it: Every Student, Every Day.

Over the past six months, we’ve tried out a range of new strategies designed to prevent chronic absences.

The results have been very encouraging, and last week we launched a new effort called Wake Up! NYC.

As part of Wake-Up! NYC, this month, thousands of students who have missed at least 10 days of class this school year will begin receiving automated phone calls from celebrities such as Magic Johnson, Jose Reyes and Trey Songz.

We hope that students and their parents will heed the advice of these celebrities who will remind them that going to class is the first step to a brighter future.

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