NYC finds $127 million for public school funding programs on the chopping block

Mayor Adams and Speaker Adams meet at announcement for public school funding programs
Mayor Eric Adams was joined by Speaker Adrienne Adams to announce school funding in Chinatown school this morning. Both were together today despite their differences on issues, but together on school funding.
Photos by Todd Maisel

A multi-million dollar school funding initiative brought together Mayor Eric Adams and Council Speaker Adrienne Adams on Tuesday as squabbling continues behind the scenes during budget negotiations.

The two elected leaders announced at P.S. 184, the Shuang Wen School on the Lower East Side, that $127 million in school funding will be made available for a variety of programs, including some that received funding during the COVID-19 crisis which is now due to expire. 

A portion of the new funds, the mayor and Council speaker said, would “hold schools harmless” from decreasing populations of children in some communities.

Mayor Adams said the City Council restored $20 million to the Summer Rising program that was set to expire this year. The program, according to Mayor Adams, continues “year-round learning.”

“Everyone knows I’m a big fan of all-year-round school, particularly with the summer loss and the loss that we saw during COVID of so many children,” Mayor Adams said.

In addition, he complimented the council for including $32 million to “protect important, long-term New York City public school programs that have been funded with short-term COVID stimulus dollars.” He said the funding will support teacher recruitment, tutorial support for kindergarten through second-grade literacy and sixth- through eighth-grade math education.

In addition, the funds will provide “support for restorative justice programming, computer science program and digital learning resources and parent and family resources.”

Finally, an additional $75 million will allow schools and principals to “proceed with certainty and continuity.” Mayor Adams said the funding will add to the New York City Reads program and will hold schools “harmless” even with a decrease in population that would otherwise jeopardize their funding.

Mayor Eric Adams was joined by Speaker Adrienne Adams to announce school funding in a Lower East Side school this morning. Both were were together to announced additional school funding. (Photos by Todd Maisel)

Speaker Adams affirmed her support for restoration and increased funding for the schools.

“Our schools need consistent investments that help them reliably offer our young scholars the education they deserve,” she said. “The decision to maintain steady initial school budgets is critical to that endeavor. When schools can count on consistent aid, receiving no less than what was provided in the previous year, they can adequately plan.”

Mayor Adams said the money is being allocated “despite a $4 billion bill from migrants and asylum seekers that have flooded into the community, including more than 200,000 people that needed shelter.” The City Council has fought the mayor’s budget reductions, arguing that the funding to cover migrant expenses and other city programs exists thanks to projected budget surpluses.

“I don’t think people fully appreciate what we were able to accomplish, unlike other cities that had to lay off and raise taxes,” Mayor Adams continued. “We have not laid off one employee. We have not raised any taxes. … I’m lost that people don’t realize how well we’ve done.”