Intense public pressure forces the Adams administration to reverse additional planned cuts
Advocates are also highlighting that schools and communities are still suffering from the devastating $469 million dollar cut in the June 2023 budget. Today’s announcement does nothing to restore those cuts.
“As New York’s children are still recovering from the academic and emotional impact of the pandemic it is essential that we protect students and invest in their development,” said Jasmine Gripper, Executive Director of the Alliance for Quality Education (AQE). “The Federal stimulus money was always meant to be used to hold schools harmless and prevent devastating cuts. We all knew mid year cuts to schools would be detrimental to students. The reversal of the plan to make mid-year cuts will prevent further harm to NYC students. Our advocacy for adequate and equitable funding will continue until all students have the resources and supports they need to thrive.”
“While this commitment to hold school budgets harmless from mid-year cuts for enrollment declines is a step in the right direction, it does nothing to repair the damage and restore the funding that was cut from public schools in the city’s budget last summer, which is estimated to be $469 million by the New York City Comptroller and and not even close to the over $1 billion estimated by Class Size Matters,” said Matt Gonzales of New Yorkers for Racially Just Public Schools (RJPS). “Mayor Adams still has an education debt to pay, and we will not forget.”
“This temporary reversal of regressive education budget policy is entirely the result of teachers, students, parents, organizers, and public education activists who spent the entire summer and fall relentlessly calling out Eric Adams’ decision to defund public schools,” said Rachel McCullough of Jews For Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ). “But it’s still not enough, and we will all keep up the pressure until New York City invests in public schools and our children’s futures.”
“Receiving a quality education is an essential foundation for the lives of all children in New York, and immigrant newcomers need schools that are fully equipped to help them succeed – with well-trained teachers, bilingual social workers, and wrap-around support services,” said Andrea Ortíz, Senior Manager of Education Policy at the New York Immigration Coalition. “That is why, since sweeping budget cuts were announced for NYC public schools this summer, the NYIC has organized with parents, youth, faith leaders, advocates and community leaders to right this wrong. We appreciate that the City has chosen to make sure schools aren’t harmed by enrollment losses. But there is so much more needed. Without fully funding English Language Learner transfer school programs and equipping all schools that serve our asylum-seeking newcomers, this change will not be nearly enough to meet the urgency of this moment. The City needs to restore the $469 million that was cut, to make sure that our students have the resources necessary to succeed now and into their bright futures.”
“Eric Adams created this disaster by cutting almost half a billion dollars from our schools,” said Zara Nasir, coordinator of The People’s Plan. “But advocates built a broad coalition, mobilized over thirty actions this summer to express our outrage, and kept the heat on the mayor. Today, we’ve won the temporary reversal of the damaging, regressive policy that was used to justify cuts to school in June – but we will not stop fighting until school cuts are restored and our children, families, teachers, and school communities get the full resources they deserve.”
The People’s Plan is a collective vision for a City that provides dignity, care, and justice for all New Yorkers. It offers the priorities of hundreds of organizers and advocates through a comprehensive, multi-issue roadmap around housing, anti-criminalization, education, economy, climate, transit, and health. The intent of The People’s Plan is to set the agenda for a racially and socially just city and provide a clear people-centered mandate for 2022 and beyond.