The Coalition for Community School Excellence (CCSE), joined by elected officials, held a rally outside the steps of New York City Hall to call on Mayor Eric Adams and the City Council to restore $9.16 million in funding to 52 community schools impacted by budget cuts.
NYC community schools partner with community-based organizations (CBOs) to provide a breadth of service to students and their families including access to health services, housing assistance, academic support, counseling and other services.
“Community schools in my district have become the cornerstone of our community, providing much-needed health, mental health, and family services,” said City Council Member Sandy Nurse at the rally on June 2. “The fact is, our schools alone cannot provide the full support that students and families need for our youth to get the most out of their education. These schools need partnerships to help address the life challenges that our students and families are going through: homelessness, housing insecurity, poverty, and lack of access to health care. The community school model has proven to increase attendance, graduation, and college acceptance rates. We need the mayor to invest the $9.16M in funding to the 52 community schools that are facing major cuts that will completely undermine their success.”
Despite community schools having a proven track record of boosted attendance and graduation rates, budget cuts are threatening these services when they are needed the most
“When I was a student, I would go to school, go home, and repeat that process, because that was all I knew to do – I had no idea what was beyond that,” said Keith Fuller, a Youth Organizer at Make the Road New York and Graduate of The Bushwick School for Social Justice. “As a former community school student, I know that having someone who uplifts you every day, and challenges you to do more than you did before, can make a world of difference. New York City’s community schools don’t just provide words, they provide actions and resources that show they believe in student success.”
While NYC has expanded the community schools system to be the largest in the nation, an equity funding system has threatened to make some significant budget cuts, which in turn threaten the ability of these schools to provide for their student body.
“Unfortunately, in an effort to create equity funding among all the community schools, which in principle is the right thing to do, the DOE implemented an equity funding formula that assumes all schools are equal, that they all have the same resources or needs, and that they have the same student body,” said Michael Rivadeneyra, Senior Executive for Government Relations at YMCA and CCSE Steering Committee Member. “That’s just not the case. As a result, 52 existing community schools are facing a $9.16 million cut. An equity funding formula should lift all community schools. We call on the administration to restore and baseline the $9.16 million and work with us in developing an equity formula that lifts our communities.”
amNew York is awaiting comment from Mayor Adams’ office