by Milette Millington, June 16

“The City’s new budget and spending allocations are out, and funding for public education was cut by $215 million.

Many parents are protesting, including Tracy Jordan. Jordan has a daughter with learning disabilities in second grade, and she says the cuts mean her daughter will not get the necessary school support services she needs.

New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, with Councilmembers Rita Joseph and Gale Brewer, responded to the cuts in a statement saying the cuts are due to a loss in federal funding, following declining enrollment in public schools during the pandemic.

Joseph chairs the Education Committee, while Brewer chairs the Oversight and Investigations Committee.

The Council has already started taking steps to address the issue. “First, the City has already allocated over $700 million more in city funds for schools within this budget compared to the current fiscal year,” said Adams, Joseph and Brewer in a joint statement.

Additionally, the Council secured key investments in education and youth programs, to fill these gaps in funding.

For example, the budget allocates $277 million for the Summer Rising Program to provide free academic enrichment to students.

It also includes more than $79 million to expand the Summer Youth Employment Program to a record-level 100,000 slots, and $46 million to provide increased and fair wages for Special Education Pre-K and Day Care Providers to support the success of these critical programs that serve our youth. 

Furthermore, it includes $14 million for restoring funding to 52 community schools. Funding will also be added to support new schools.

The statement also said that the Council will ensure that members work with education leaders. The Council will also make sure that Mayor Adams and the Department of Education fulfill their promise to students and families, they added.”