New York City may cut school budget, reinstate court rules
More than $200 million in New York City public school budget cuts are in effect, at least temporarily, the state’s appeals court on Tuesday overturned a lower court decision asking the city to redistribute the budget. was required to do.
The appeal was the latest in a controversial case over school funding that pitted Mayor Eric Adams against the city council and sparked fury among teachers and teachers. The fight has set the stage for a chaotic start to a school year that was considered the first “normal” after the disruptions of the pandemic.
The Adams administration was “delighted” that the cuts – which the mayor has said were necessary because of falling student enrollment – could be reinstated, according to City Hall spokesman, Amaris Cockfield. “We will continue to defend the city’s budget process,” she said.
The exact amount of the deduction has been in some controversy, with New York City Comptroller Brad Lander estimating that the deduction is actually more than $300 million. More than 1,200 schools in the city, or about two-thirds of the city’s public schools, will face cuts, according to an analysis by education news site Chocbeat.
Several headmasters objected to the budget cuts for months, saying they couldn’t have come at a worse time. The 2022-2023 school year should have focused on making up for the loss after learning slowed during the pandemic.
Instead, principals say the cuts are forcing them to reduce teaching positions and enrichment programs to help them heal students.
“School starts in a few weeks. “Our students don’t need a drawn-out court battle,” said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers. “The answer is for the mayor to reinstate the cut.”
The Adams administration proposed the cuts because the bulk of the funding schools receive is tied to the number of students they enroll, a number that has been steadily declining. About 120,000 families have left the school system in the past five years, the vast majority during the pandemic.
The previous mayor, Bill de Blasio, used federal stimulus money to increase the budget for schools with dwindling numbers. But the Adams administration decided against relying on federal funding, which is temporary and will expire by fiscal year 2025.
Educators and parents have argued that if schools lack rich programming or have large class sizes, families will continue to leave the public school system because teachers have been let go.
In July, many teachers and parents had sued the education department over the budget. He argued that the department made a procedural error when it allowed the council to vote on the budget before the Panel for Education Policy, a governing body largely appointed by the mayor, and held a public hearing on it. Voted.
A Manhattan judge sided with parents and teachers last week, and the city appealed that decision, arguing that bumping up the budget was “destabilizing” and would force the city to pretend it was. That it was “still flush with federal pandemic relief, and that student enrollment remains at previous levels.”
The matter will return to court on August 29, a week before the start of the school year.
Laura D. Barbieri, attorney for Advocates for Justice, which is representing parents and teachers suing the city, said the timing of the next hearing would further delay the “chaos” that the city cited repeatedly in its brief. , and prevented principals, teachers and parents from knowing what their school budget would be like.”