The city’s education department took a $707 million hit in the new fiscal year, including $65 million more in budget cuts than Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed in the spring.
While the budget saved a few big ticket items the mayor originally planned to slash, it cut back on or eliminated several programs that directly affect teachers, students, and school leaders.
The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic helped fuel a $9 billion citywide budget shortfall. Coupled with nationwide protests that followed the police killing of George Floyd, de Blasio and the City Council faced pressure this year to back away from proposed cuts to education and social services. In June, city lawmakers agreed to transition school safety officers from the NYPD to the education department.
In the current fiscal year, which began July 1 and runs through June 30, 2021, the department’s budget will total just over $27 billion — about 3% less than the year before. Additionally, New York City has received less state money than last year, since state lawmakers replaced some of its contribution to districts with the exact amount they are expected to receive in federal coronavirus relief dollars. The state could choose to cut additional money from local budgets if its own fiscal crisis grows.
Initially, in April, Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed nearly $642 million in new education cuts. Public school advocates decried two big parts of that: $100 million in reductions to Fair Student Funding, a city funding formula that sends more dollars to schools with high needs, and $11 million in cuts for Single Shepherd, a program providing counseling to middle school students. Public advocacy helped restore those components in the final budget, along with $5 million for school social workers. Some principals told Chalkbeat that their school budgets are not as tight as expected, but they are still facing tough decisions, such as cutting after-school programs or electives.
The article was published at In financial crisis, NYC cut $707M from its education budget. These programs will feel the effects.