State & city budget update, and how you can help prevent further cuts to our schools!!

April 12, 2023

Dear all:

The state budget is now nearly two weeks overdue, with negotiations showing little evident progress so far. As a result, Gov. Hochul’s controversial proposal to raise the NYC charter cap is still up in the air, that the city says would cost another $1.3 billion, over and above $3 billion that charters already subtract from the DOE budget each year.

Charter co-locations also take up increasing space in our public schools, space that is desperately needed to lower class size, as pointed out by a new lawsuit filed on March 28 to block charter co-locations in Brooklyn and Queens. My affidavit in that case, as well as other legal papers are here. A court hearing is scheduled on May 12 before Judge Lyle Frank, who previously ruled for parents and against the DOE by ordering that that this year’s budget cuts to schools be restored, before the Appellate Court reversed his ruling in November.

Speaking of budget cuts, last week the Mayor announced his intention to cut the DOE’s budget by another 3% next year, amounting to more than $400 million . This is in addition to school budget cuts that DOE officials admitted they had already planned during Council hearings last month. Yet the City is expected to have a surplus of more than two billion dollars, and our schools are due to receive an additional $568 million in state Foundation Aid next year. The City Council released a preliminary budget response that allocates more funding for some important school-based programs such as arts and mental health services, but does not clearly oppose any more cuts to schools.

We have drafted a resolution against any further cuts to school budgets and the capital plan, and that urges the Council to restore the cuts already made; please consider forwarding it to your CEC, Presidents Council or other organization to consider.

We are also scheduling briefings for NYC Council Members on these issues and are looking for parents and other constituents who’d be willing to join us. If you’re able and interested, please sign up on this google doc today.

Thanks Leonie

PS The Gates Foundation recently revealed a grant of $6 million to the Fund for Public schools, NYU, and Amplify, a for-profit ed tech company, “to develop R&D tools and related instructional strategies” in NYC schools.

According to the DOE website, there are 15 Amplify programs that students already use in our schools; and yet they have failed to disclose what personal data these programs collect, how the data is used or how it is protected, as required by law. More on this here, including a sample letter you can send DOE to demand this information for your child.

Leonie Haimson
Executive Director
Class Size Matters
124 Waverly Pl.
New York, NY 10011
phone: 917-435-9329

Categories Newsletters, Uncategorized, Updates | Tags: | Posted on April 12, 2023

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