NEW YORK, N.Y. (November 16, 2023) — In response to Mayor Eric Adams’ budget announcement Thursday, public education advocacy organization the Alliance for Quality Education released the following statement:
“The latest announcement of budget cuts reads like a masterclass in gaslighting, as Mayor Adams opens by claiming that his administration has ‘delivered’ for New Yorkers, and then immediately details devastating cuts to education and other critical services, despite the city’s $9 billion in reserves,” said Amshula Jayaram, Campaign Director, Alliance for Quality Education.
“Even with an overall increase in student enrollment — in part thanks to the very asylum seeker families that Mayor Adams has spent so much time blaming for all his troubles over the past two years — nearly half of New York City’s schools are still slated to receive cuts in this mid-year adjustment. In this post-pandemic era, our schools need more, not less, to combat the learning loss and mental health challenges amongst our students.
“New Yorkers want a city where working families can thrive. Mayor Adams is driven by the needs of his political donors rather than by a genuine concern for the well-being of New Yorkers, and has neither the vision nor the moral values necessary to achieve this. His vision for New York seems to be one where schools lack funding, libraries are shuttered, and a growing number of people find themselves without homes. Impoverishing generations of New Yorkers is not ‘fiscally responsible’ and it does not make our economy stronger. Keeping families in poverty comes with its own price, in the additional costs of shelters, emergency medical services, lost productivity and educational opportunities.
“We need leaders who are looking for solutions, not grasping at excuses for their incompetence. And with federal relief funds due to expire at the end of this fiscal year, the need for real solutions is now upon us.
“Fortunately, there are many possible solutions within our grasp that would go a long way toward addressing the critical needs of New Yorkers. With approximately $9 billion in reserves at the city level, there are concrete options to alleviate the hardships faced by the people of New York. At the state level, we should be actively pursuing wealth taxes on the ultra rich and corporations, and Mayor Adams should be a leading voice in supporting these efforts.
“But Mayor Adams isn’t about solutions. In the years that he has presided over the city’s budget, he has done nothing to prepare the city to meet this critical moment that we all knew was coming. It’s time for New York to have a leader with the vision to guide our city’s students, schools and families through challenges, and the moral clarity to ensure that we do not balance the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable New Yorkers.”