2008-05-23 / School News

Addabbo Urges Mayor To Restore Ed Cuts

City Council Member Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. has announced that he has cosponsored a Resolution in the council calling on Mayor Michael Bloomberg to restore the proposed and existing cuts to the Department of Education budget, including the $324 million announced in January and any additional 3 percent cuts (estimated to exceed $200 million) announced in March. Schools in the area were already instructed to make mid-year budget cuts totaling over $180 million city-wide.

"We must do what we can to restore the prior educational budget cuts and look to prevent future cuts to our children's education," said Addabbo. "Already this year the Administration has slashed school funding by approximately $180 million. Too much of the financial burden has fallen on the schools themselves and not the central budget of the Department of Education. Due to this sudden loss of funding our community schools are being forced to cut back on after school programming, tutoring, books and professional development opportunities. This trend simply cannot continue."

While New York City had committed to increase its investment in the public schools by $2.2 billion over a four year period, the mayor has instead reduced the Department of Education budget with mid-year cuts and another proposed $324 million in budget reductions for the next fiscal year, totaling more than one half billion dollars in cuts.

The $180 million in cuts during this current school year, $100 million of which were taken directly out of school budgets, have inflicted an immediate and severe impact on schools throughout New York City, as principals had been depending on this funding for some important discretionary school programs and supplies.

After a 14-year battle for the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, city and state leaders finally made financial commitments to adequately fund public education in New York, but those promises could be rapidly disappearing before the eyes of residents and students.

"Though New York City faces difficult financial times on the horizon, and all agencies are experiencing reductions, we must still establish spending priorities and remain committed to a quality education for our children, regardless of what the economy brings," said Addabbo. "I believe that before shifting the budget cuts to the schools themselves, the Department of Education should examine its own spending priorities, including the exorbitant costs related to consultants, excessive testing and "no-bid" contracts. Though both New York City and State face difficult financial times we must fully establish spending priorities and remain committed to quality education for our children, regardless of what the economy brings. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the City Council and the Mayor's Administration toward fully restoring the educational cuts to budgets of our area schools."

For further information on educational budget cuts please call Councilman Addabbo's office at 718-738-1111.

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