Skip to Content

  • AFC in the News
  • Eric Adams cancels new round of budget cuts, but fiscal cliff for NYC schools looms

    Feb 21, 2024

    Programs including hundreds of new social workers, expanded preschool for 3-year-olds and community schools are in jeopardy as federal pandemic aid expires this summer.
    Alex Zimmerman / Chalkbeat

    Chalkbeat – New York City’s Education Department won’t see another round of city budget cuts this spring, Mayor Eric Adams announced Wednesday.

    But the school system still stands to lose hundreds of millions of dollars of expiring federal aid by this summer unless city and state officials act quickly to replace it, advocates warned.

    Adams said he will not move forward with a third round of planned budget cuts to city agencies, citing better-than-anticipated revenue and shrinking spending on migrants. The previous two rounds of cuts slashed a total of more than $700 million from the Education Department’s budget for next fiscal year.

    Advocates celebrated Wednesday’s news, but warned it does nothing to reverse the massive cuts already coming through previous reductions in city spending and the approaching fiscal cliff of expiring federal aid.

    “We are relieved that there is not going to be another round of cuts to the New York City Department of Education,” said Randi Levine, the policy director of Advocates for Children of New York. “But we are deeply concerned about the cuts that are currently being proposed. We need the city to make a substantial investment … to ensure that we don’t have devastating cuts to education programs come July.”

    Among the programs that could be partially or fully eliminated when the federal money runs out: 450 new social workers, whose salaries are covered by the one-time federal aid; the city’s recently expanded free preschool program for 3-year-olds; and more than 100 “community schools” that partner with community organizations to provide extra support to families. Funding that propped up the budgets of schools whose enrollment fell during the pandemic is also drying up.

    Advocates for Children is one member of the recently formed Emergency Coalition to Save Education Programs, which is calling on the city and state to come up with more than $1 billion dollars in this year’s budget to replace the expiring federal aid.