NEW YORK (PIX11) – Hundreds of millions of dollars in budget cuts to New York City schools will remain in place after an appeals court overturned a decision to redo the budget.
The budget battle has been brewing for some time. Over the summer, Mayor Eric Adams and the city Department of Education ordered budget cuts worth nearly $500 million to avoid a shortfall. Parents and the City Council fought back, saying they were deceived by the mayor’s administration.
Now, those decisions have made their way through the court system. On Tuesday, an appeals court ruled the DOE could go ahead with the $469 million in funding cuts. However, the ruling also found that the city did not follow state procedures when it approved the education budget, which could mean changes to how future city budgets are passed.
The ruling also overturned a previous court’s decision that ordered a redo of the budget to allow for additional DOE funding. The appeals court on Tuesday said trying to approve a new budget now, nearly halfway through the academic year, would be “detrimental to students and teachers alike.”
PIX11 reached out to the DOE and the mayor’s office for a statement on the ruling. Laura Barbieri, with Advocates for Justice and the attorney for the petitioners, said in a statement they were disappointed about the decision to not allow for a revote on the budget but appreciated that the court addressed the city’s tactics.
“We are gratified that the Appellate Court agreed with us on nearly all the issues that we raised in the case, and that going forward the City and the DOE will have to comply with the law in holding the hearings and vote of the Panel for Educational Policy before rather than after the City Council vote,” she said in the statement. “While we are disappointed that the Council will not have the opportunity to hold a revote to restore these damaging cuts, we believe that the lawsuit put an additional spotlight on the irresponsible actions of city officials making these cuts in the first place, and that going forward, they will have to abide by the state law when it comes to their budgeting procedures.”
In another development, schools will not lose money for their lower-than-projected enrollment in this year’s mid-year adjustment process thanks to $200 million made available by stimulus funding.
New York City Councilwoman Rita Joseph, Chair of the City Council Education Committee, joined the PIX11 Morning News on Wednesday to talk more about the court’s decision and school funding. Watch the video player below for more.