Evidence suggests if cuts aren’t restored, NYC schools will suffer loss of about billion dollars compared to this year

July 31, 2022

There has been much confusion around the amount of school budget cuts for next year.  While the DOE originally claimed $215 million had been cut from the Fair Student Funding (FSF) amounts, it turned out that this amount did not include cuts made because of DOE’s projections of continued enrollment decline.  The total amount cut from FSF according to the Comptroller’s office was actually $372 million, and for the  77% of schools that faced cuts, the actual total was $469 million.

We looked at the total school Galaxy budgets for FY 23 compared to FY 22.  While Fair Student Funding generally makes up about 60% of a school’s budget, that is far from 100%, and this generalization wasn’t necessarily true last year, as  schools were bolstered with additional federal funds.

We found that as of June 14, the total net amount cut from their total Galaxy budgets was $1.7 billion; as of July 14, the total net amount was $1.42 billion.  At each link you can find spreadsheets that can be easily sorted, with the cuts totaled for your school and district.

We did this same analysis again as of July 27.  The spreadsheet can be found here; the summary chart below.
As you can see, the total cuts to school budgets as of July 27 were $1.37 billion.

More specifically, 96.8 percent of schools had cuts averaging $903, 580, while only 3.2 percent of schools saw increases averaging $352,677, as of July 27.

Now many people, including those at the DOE, have disputed the relevance of these figures, since more allocations for specific purposes are added to school budgets over the summer and into the next school year, which is certainly true.

So we looked at all the budget allocations that were provided schools for FY 22 compared to FY 23. That spreadsheet is posted here.

What it shows is that after July 27, 2021, only about $430 million was added to school budgets for FY 22.

The total amount that this administration intends to add may end up being greater than this, or less. The one allocation made on July 27, 2021 was for the “class size pilot” program, funded at $18 million, offered to fend off the Council’s push for class size reduction during the budget negotiations for FY 2022.  There’s been no mention of continuing or even evaluating that “pilot” program.  The administration just announced that the recovery program for special needs students will be funded at $100 million, compared to about $200 million last year.

What does this mean?   Given the evidence we have so far, the evidence suggests that if cuts aren’t restored, school budgets  next year will be about $900 million to $1 billion dollars less than they were this past year.

A further complication to our comparison is that the biggest increase in school budgets next year may be for  continued 3K expansion, at $136 million — paid for out of federal dollars and already allocated on June 18.  Though expanded 3K will benefit families with three year old children, it will not improve or sustain conditions for children age 4 and up. So even if the total cut to school budgets turns out to be  $1 billion, it may feel like an even larger cut for those students.

Many teachers, students and parents have said that their schools were sufficiently funded for the first time this year, and thus able to provide the smaller classes, art and music programs, counselors and support staff required for a sound, basic education.  Clearly, that will no longer be the case if these enormous cuts are enacted.

Categories Uncategorized, Updates | Tags: | Posted on July 31, 2022

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