New York Needs Police-Free Schools, Not Education Cuts 1

New York Needs Police-Free Schools, Not Education Cuts

NEW YORK, N.Y. (June 9, 2020) — In response to the New York City Independent Budget Office brief showing a cut of $475 million from New York City public schools, the public education advocacy organization Alliance for Quality Education released the following statement:

“Common sense says that we should not cut from public schools. Common sense says that cutting mental health supports for students in the midst of a pandemic is a mistake, the wrong thing to do. Yet, Mayor de Blasio is right now proposing cutting $475 million from education, regressive and harmful cuts that will have a deep impact on Black and brown students,” said Maria Bautista, Campaigns Director of the Alliance for Quality Education. “While cutting funding from classrooms and educational programming, de Blasio is also proposing spending more than $300 million on police officers in schools.”

“The Mayor has a choice: instead of cutting education and needed services to students, he can make the morally and racially just decision to defund the NYPD and invest in our communities. If we had strong and progressive leadership, this choice would be an easy one. A strong leader would center our students and their wellbeing, and not perpetuate the criminalization of Black and Brown people in the streets and in their schools. But we are lacking strong leadership, at the city and state level.

“We’re real clear: we need to defund the NYPD and invest in our communities and our schools. The Minneapolis City Council last week made the decision to dismantle the police department. Meanwhile in New York City, we have a Mayor who not only refuses to defund the police, who has yet to acknowledge the harmful presence of police in public schools, but one who is simultaneously pushing forward with a harmful budget that will be balanced on the backs of Black, brown and poor children.

“We call on Mayor de Blasio and the New York City Council to immediately remove police from New York City’s schools, and cut $1 billion from the NYPD budget to invest in education and youth services, as a first step toward repairing our communities.”