STATEN ISLAND, NY — New York City schools will lose $215 million in funding as part of Mayor Eric Adams’ city budget deal, according to recent reports.
Lawmakers reached a $101 billion budget deal on Friday that finalized cuts to school budgets for the 2022-2023 academic year, according to education news website Chalkbeat. The city Department of Education will see a $215 million drop in funding compared to this year’s budget, but Adams wouldn’t call them cuts. The mayor instead pointed to a “major drop” in enrollment among city public schools.
“We had a major drop in student population in the Department of Education,” Adams told reporters during a Friday press conference. “So what we’re doing, we’re not cutting, we are adjusting the amount based on the student population. We’re in a very dangerous time right now that many people are not realizing. We’re dropping students so much, this may impact our federal funding, and we better now start making these smart decisions.”
The decision represents a reversal of a policy over the last two years that covered schools drops financially for enrollment during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
With the drop in enrollment, Adams said during a press conference that the city will take money it received from the federal government to make sure every school is at 100% of its Fair Student Funding level, and make adjustments as the year goes on.
Fair Student Funding provides the majority of most individual school budgets and is used at the principal’s discretion. The formula was introduced in 2007 by the Department of Education (DOE) and provides additional funding per student based on need, including additional funding for students with disabilities, English Language Learners, low-income students and students performing below grade level.
The budget announced by Adams also allocates $2 billion in coronavirus relief funds for next school year and also expands summer programming for kids and teens, according to Chalkbeat.
The school-focused media outlet reported that city public schools received about $7 billion in stimulus money so far, in which $2 billion was spent through the first week of May. Much of that funding went towards schools to create academic recovery programs and helping schools enrollment declines.
Additionally, the budget calls for $110 million to cover the summer enrichment program, Summer Rising, as well as $79 million to expand the city’s Summer Youth Employment Program, Chalkbeat reported.