NEW YORK, N.Y. (October 26, 2023) — In response to Mayor Eric Adams moving forward with mid-year cuts to public schools, public education advocacy organization the Alliance for Quality Education released the following statement:
“Principals across New York City are being abruptly notified that Mayor Adams is cutting funding from their schools, just weeks after the beginning of a new school year. The fact is that New York State has provided record levels of funding for New York City’s schools over the past 3 years. The State is doing its part; it is Mayor Adams who is failing our children,” said Smitha Milich, Campaign Coordinator at the Alliance for Quality Education.
“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, New York City has protected public school budgets from the adverse effects of declining enrollments. This policy has enabled public schools to retain paraprofessionals, music programs, art classes, and the essential staff who form the backbone of our school communities. Amidst the chaos, challenges, and inconsistency of the pandemic, maintaining this sense of community has been paramount to the security and development of our children.
“This latest round of cuts is the sixth such action taken by Mayor Adams in his short time in office, and is just the latest in his ongoing effort to undermine the quality of public education in New York City. While enrollment impacts the funding schools receive, Adams’ approach of making last-minute, mid-year “adjustments” to school budgets hampers the ability of principals to plan effectively, and robs schools of the opportunity to prepare for funding reductions. For schools with significant enrollment declines, there must be mechanisms in place to safeguard schools from abrupt and dramatic loss of funding.
“Implementing blind cuts without meticulous consideration of the impact they will have on each school will only exacerbate the harm to vulnerable students. History has shown that the first casualties when schools lose funding to budget cuts are often art, music, sports, and counseling programs. These programs are not “extras” but form the bedrock of a comprehensive and quality education. NYC must ensure that every child continues to have access to these essential educational programs.
“It is evident that Mayor Adams lacks any commitment to the wellbeing of our public education system. He entered office without a clear plan to support our public schools and communities. He has grasped at any excuse to gut funding for public education, from enrollment declines to cutting pre-K for 3-year-olds to citywide deficits to eliminating vacant positions.
“The children and families of New York City deserve a leader who will plan for the future and proactively seek solutions, like raising revenues — not one like Mayor Adams who pushes us from one crisis into the next. New Yorkers deserve a mayor who prioritizes our most vulnerable and disenfranchised children rather than balancing the budget on their backs. The Mayor and New York City Council have a responsibility to ensure our children receive the quality education they deserve. The New York City Council must push back on Adams’ cuts to education, and make our children’s education a top priority. Our city deserves nothing less.”