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New York City Education Department faces massive budget cut

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Posted at 3:11 PM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-08 15:11:32-04

NEW YORK — New York City's Education Department budget is in trouble as the battle against coronavirus drain's the city's reserves.

There's $273 million in cuts to various education agendas, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio's office. They're part of $1.3 billion in overall cuts in response to falling revenue and an increase in costs connected to COVID-19.

"Sadly, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting revenue losses to the City, we must take significant action to preserve our ability to provide basic operations and continue to fund life-saving measures," mayoral spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein said. "Many of these cuts are responsive to our current reality of suspension of non-essential operations, while maintaining our commitment to Pre-K for All, health care, access to food, workplace protections, critical Thrive services and public safety."

Cuts to education programs include a delay in the 3k for all expansion, a reduction in professional development funding, a reduction in cash for Equity and Excellence Programs and a Fair Student Funding.

"During this unprecedented crisis, the City is facing incredible fiscal hardship, and must make difficult choices," Education Department spokeswoman Miranda Barbot said. "Though cuts are necessary, the Mayor and Chancellor are focused on mitigating the impact for schools and educational opportunity for students."

These changes would go into effect for the 2020-2021 school year.

The full breakdown of cuts from the city is below:

  • Professional Development Reduction – Mandated programs protected, eliminate redundancy, more efficient training sessions (DOE) - $67M baseline
  • Reduction in funding for Equity and Excellence programs – Summer in the City, Single Shepherd, College Access for All (DOE) - $49M baseline
  • Delay in 3K Expansion to districts in 1, 12, 14, and 29 (DOE) $43M in FY21
  • Fair Student Funding reduction (DOE) - $100M in FY21
  • Program Rightsizing – tied directly to COVID-19 related underspending through under-enrollment and facility closures (CUNY) - $9M over FY20-21
  • SONYC Afterschool Rightsizing (DOE) - $5M baseline