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  • Eric Adams commits $500 million to partially avert fiscal cliff for NYC schools

    Apr 19, 2024

    Schools Chancellor David Banks (left) with Mayor Eric Adams at P.S. 34 in Manhattan's East Village announcing roughly $500 million in city and state funds to plug gaps for school programs left by expiring federal COVID relief dollars.
    Alex Zimmerman/Chalkbeat

    Chalkbeat – Mayor Eric Adams is cobbling together more than $500 million in city and state funding to plug a hole in the Education Department’s budget left by the federal COVID relief funding that’s expiring this year, he announced on Friday.

    The money will prop up a range of education programs that were set to be cut because of the disappearing federal dollars, including hundreds of social workers, an expansion of free preschool for 3-year-olds, and new staffers working in homeless shelters.

    By far, this marks the city’s largest commitment to date to replace the dwindling pandemic aid. Adams previously found $80 million to continue funding Summer Rising, the city’s summer school and recreation program, for one year.

    Adams indicated that the city was able to restore programs through a variety of funding sources, and he credited the city’s “strong fiscal management” and “booming” economy.

    Advocates for Children, a group that works with low-income families, has mounted an aggressive campaign to convince city officials to restore expiring federal dollars, and largely celebrated the mayor’s announcement.

    Still, the organization pointed to some programs that remain in limbo, including restorative justice programs that offer alternatives to suspensions, some mental health supports, and an initiative that provides subsidized child care to undocumented families.

    “Students and their families rely on these programs, and we cannot afford to lose them,” wrote Kim Sweet, the group’s executive director.