‘Fuzzy’ math: Lander, education advocate tells city council DOE ‘budget cuts’ don’t add up
The city’s financial watchdog and education advocate told the city council’s Board of Education on Monday that math mayor Eric Adams and the Department of Education’s cuts of hundreds of millions of dollars from school budgets simply didn’t add up.
City Comptroller Brad Lander estimates that New York City’s public school budget cuts will be about $370 million in fiscal 2023, but Lander’s office has $469 million for the DOE. We found that the dollar remains pending and available from the already budgeted $3.02 billion of the federal COVID Stimulus Fund. City Hall.
“Unfortunately, one of the problems with this discussion is that the numbers are vague throughout,” Lander said at the Aug. 22 hearing. “My office tried to bring transparency and clarity to the conversation by highlighting the actual savings from individual schools. More precisely, the Fair Student Funding (FSF) scheme. It was shown that the application of the Act would result in a net reduction of $375 million, but that the $160 million in registration relief would offset that reduction. It showed that $10,000 was supposed to come from fringe benefits, not directly from the school budget.”
Mayor Adams and Prime Minister Banks have so far not referred to the reduced budget as “budget cuts,” implying instead that the budget has been reallocated elsewhere.
Still, Lander said their decisions could have a significant impact on the learning experience and environment of many New York children.
“Just yesterday I spoke with a fifth grade mom from a public elementary school in the Bronx,” Lander said. “Their school has long had a 5th grade band program that my son has been looking forward to for years. Unfortunately, the teacher is one of three staff members the principal has had to cut.By refusing to reach an agreement with the city council, DOE is forcing cuts in school budgets, which means the city’s 1,156 schools are now on a similar story: 77% of public schools will open in September We placed eighth because of larger class sizes, fewer arts programs, and fewer guidance counselors than last year.”
Michael Mulgrew (UFT), president of the National Federation of Teachers (UFT) – one of the city’s larger teachers’ unions – also spoke at the hearing, raising the question of where the money went.
“I have had many conversations with elected officials, both state and federal. “Because they don’t understand why cutbacks are being made in our schools now. You already know and [it has been] Well documented on what this means for the school itself.It’s really starting to haunt me because I don’t know what this city is saying [this is] We’re talking about future cuts, not current cuts. ”
Other educators highlighted how cuts in public school budgets would harm students who need special education curricula and services.
“We are not meeting the mandated needs of our students for students with special education and English learners,” said Lupe Hernandez, president of Advocate for Children in New York. . “They continue to be most marginalized and affected by these egregious cuts to our schools. Our schools face many challenges. We had about 15 appeals in my district alone and still lost more than $60 million.Fair Student Funds needs to be addressed and over the next two years, changes since its creation It gives us time to actually adjust this formula that hasn’t been done.”
A city hall spokesperson familiar with the matter stressed the mayor and his administration’s commitment to transparency and said the funding plan had been approved for quite some time.
“Mayor Adams and Prime Minister Banks are committed to providing our students with the best possible education,” a spokesperson told amNew York. “Every student in our school system maintains 100% fair student funding. Funding for the budget has been approved months in advance and negotiated by the City Council with full transparency. , reviewed and voted on, responsibly coordinated to accommodate declining enrollment, and allocated all federal stimulus to critical programs and needs next month. We look forward to opening our school on time with the resources we need to ensure our students thrive.”
Last update 2022/08/22 15:11