Please send a letter to the NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson today and the Education and Finance Council chairs to say that the DOE budget should NOT be cut next year, as the Mayor has proposed; but instead, school funding should be increased so they can hire more teachers, counselors, nurses, custodial staff as well as purchasing the supplies to ensure that our children can go back to school safely next year and with the full academic and social-emotional support they will need.
The City Council is in the final stretches of negotiating a city budget for next year. Meanwhile, the Mayor proposed a 3% cut in the overall DOE budget next year, with more than $280 million of cuts directed towards schools. And yet it is clear that schools will need more funding not less next year to create the health and safety precautions, as well as the smaller classes needed for social distancing and enhanced instruction.
A recent cost analysis from the School Superintendents Association and the Association of School Business Officials shows that school districts can expect to spend an additional $490 per student just to purchase hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and other cleaning supplies, gloves, masks and other personal protective equipment, and hiring additional custodial staff and nurses to ensure health and safety. Given that NYC has more than one million public school students, that means that nearly $490 million alone may be required.
And that’s not counting the additional teachers necessary to provide instruction either remotely or in-person, and extra counselors to offer the emotional support, so critical given the disruption and distress that so many students have experienced during the Covid pandemic.
While Council members announced that while they are intent on negotiating a $1 billion cut to the police budget, they hadn’t yet decided where the savings would go. Clearly a big chunk will be directed to restore cuts to the summer youth jobs, but a large portion should go directly toward schools to pay for additional teachers, counselors and other staffing, as well as health and safety measures that will be critical for NYC school children next year.
Please send a letter now by clicking here, before it’s too late.