This protest at a Harlem town hall against the Mayor's huge budget cuts to schools was reported briefly in the NY Post, but not what the Mayor actually said about these cuts, which he blamed on Albany.
The Mayor claimed that "There's something called fair student funding, which is a wrong equation that we're fighting Albany to fix."
Yet neither the Governor nor the Legislature have anything to do with his budget cuts to schools, or to Fair Student Funding, which is a formula devised by Chancellor Klein in 2007. Indeed, the Legislature is sending $1.3 billion extra to our schools over three years, regardless of any enrollment decline.
( Update: Sue Edelman on twitter just pointed out out that his claim they are paying 100% of FSF is also incorrect, as they cut the allotment of about $25 per student in the formula, with as much as twice that much for kids with disabilities and other challenges. DOE explained this as resulting from the FSF formula is pegged to the average teacher salary, which they claim has diminished in the past year, without refusing to disclose the actual amount of the decline.)
See for yourself. Check out what happened at about at 10 min. into the video, and also below.
(Shouting in background of protesters from Make the Road NY, MORE caucus of the UFT, and New Yorkers for Racially Just Public Schools, who are dragged out of the room. )
Mayor Adams: You know, see, see this is the clown. This is the clown. And this is what we are up against people.
People want to spend time being disruptive. That's what people want to do. But we got to stay focused and not get distracted. That's what we must do. Be focused and not distracted. Because people want to spend time on what they disagree on, and not spend time what we agree on. That’s what we have to be. So all that noise. All that noise, that's what folks don't understand.
Listen, they are new to this. I'm not new to this. I'm true to this. I'm true to this. So because you are the loudest, does not mean you are saying something. Your ability to sit down and say, how do we work together because you can disagree with something, but you don't disagree with people should not be living in the state that they're living in now. And so if there's ever been a moment in history, if there's ever been a moment in history that personifies Esther 4:14. This is the moment God made me for such a time like this. I'm the right man for the right time to do what needs to be done in this city.
Next table, Pastor Gil Monroe.
Pastor Gil Monroe: Good evening and we're sorry for our friends. When will the budget of the DOE of $2 billion be restored, cuts be restored?
Mayor Adams: This is such, this DOE conversation is such an important one. You know because people have hijacked the conversation, so here’s what's happened with the with the Department of Education.
We have a massive hemorrhaging of students. Massive hemorrhaging when a very dangerous place in a number of students that we are dropping. There's something called fair student funding, which is a wrong equation that we're fighting Albany to fix.
But we are paying 100% of fair student funding. This is amount of money each child is allocated from Albany. If you have 1000 children in school, each child per child gets $1 Match attached to it.
We had a substantial drop in students in schools. So you start out with 1000 for argument's sake, you drop down to 600. Albany is saying we only pay you for 600. We're not paying you 1000.
And so when we said to our schools, we said listen, they're cutting off our funding, the fair student funding. So we're not going to cut you off right away. We have stimulus dollars. We're going to use a stimulus dollars to keep you whole, we talked about last year, but you got to start adjusting to have the 600 students. We came this year, we said we still not going to cut you off we're going to give you three fourths of the amount that we normally give you.
But next year because of the stimulus dollars, we got to give you 50% of the dollars that we normally give you. But the year after, we have no more federal dollars. Then we get hit with other things that Albany is putting on us without giving us the money for, so what we did is slowly adjust based on the student population and the money that's coming from Albany. So we need your help to tell Albany, let's change the equation based on the number of students we have in our school, so we won't lose your money in our schools.
We're gonna base it on with Albany is doing, we are creatures of Albany, they give us our fair student funding. Now we would like the bad guy because we don't want that I adjust with Albany is doing to us. We need Albany to do the right thing and make sure we get the fair student funding increase so that we can put the money into schools. Right now we're keeping them as whole as possible with the federal money is going to run out and when it runs out, we don't we no longer have that cushion that we had. So it's not our desire to cut any money. We that's why we did only three fourths this year. Next year, we got to do 50%.
But then we got we got to fall off the cliff if we don't get the support that we need from Albany.