NEW YORK (PIX11) — With about a month to go before students head back to New York City classrooms, the budget for every school is still in limbo.
Parents, educators and Mayor Eric Adams’s administration are battling in court over cuts to the Department of Education. A budget passed that included hundreds of millions in cuts due to falling enrollment, but amid protests and a lawsuit, a judge ordered a temporary block of the cuts.
Attorney Laura Barbieri filed the suit over the budget cuts on behalf of a handful of parents and teachers.
“The emergency declaration that the chancellor used was invalid and because it was invalid, the vote by City Council was also invalid and what that meant was that the city budget was not properly passed,” she said.
Some education advocates celebrated the win in court and called for the City Council to vote again on the education portion of New York City’s budget. Adams implored the court to come to a final judgement fast, noting the uncertainty a budget in fluctuation can cause.
“Students, teachers, and parents need finalized budgets to ensure they are on track for a smooth opening next month,” he said.
Adams and Schools Chancellor David Banks on Tuesday had granted $100 million in academic recovery funds. They also expedited the release of over $50 million in funds for keeping teachers.
“We remain laser focused on ensuring our school communities have everything they need to safely reopen, and await a quick resolution of this case,” Banks said.
Schools being ready is a cause of concern for both teachers and parents though. Educator Greg Monte worried Thursday about resources and having enough teachers. Parent Kaliris Salas said the situation was scary.
“We don’t know if our teachers are going to come back, we don’t know what kind of programming our children are going to have, if they’re gonna have the mandated services or not,” she said.
Comptroller Brad Lander says 77 percent of our public schools are facing cuts of $469 million dollars and it’s not necessary. He found the funds, and then some.