Call on Mayor Bloomberg to Reverse the School Budget Cuts
This is a petition to express your support for City Council Resolution 1302, a Resolution introduced by Councilmembers Bill de Blasio and Robert Jackson and co-sponsored by a total of 45 Councilmembers. This petition will be delivered to Mayor Bloomberg. Res. No. 1302 Resolution calling upon the Mayor to submit an Executive Budget for fiscal year 2009 that restores proposed cuts to the Department of Education budget, including the $324 million announced in January and any additional 3% (estimated to exceed $200 million) announced in March, and to immediately reverse the $180 million in recently enacted mid-year school budget cuts. By Council Members de Blasio, Jackson, Addabbo Jr., Avella, Brewer, Comrie, Dickens, Eugene, Fidler, Gentile, Gerson, Gonzalez, James, Koppell, Liu, Mark-Viverito, Monserrate, Palma, Recchia Jr., Sanders Jr., Seabrook, Vann, Weprin, Yassky, Lappin, Rivera, White Jr., Katz, Gennaro, Mendez, Martinez, Gioia, Foster, Arroyo, Stewart, Mealy, Reyna, Garodnick, Vacca, Barron, McMahon, Nelson, Sears, Ignizio and Oddo Whereas, A fully-funded and empowered public education system is critical to the future of New York City; and Whereas, While New York City had committed to increase its investment in our public schools by $2.2 billion over a four year period, the mayor has instead reduced the Department of Education (DOE) budget with $180 million in mid-year cuts and another proposed $324 million in budget reductions for the next fiscal year, totaling more than one half billion dollars in cuts; and Whereas, At the Council’s preliminary budget hearings in early March, the Budget Director also announced the Administration’s intent to look for additional agency savings and reductions of an additional 3% for fiscal year 2009, which, if applied to DOE would add approximately $215 million more in cuts to DOE, bringing the total amount of proposed budget reductions to more than $700 million; and Whereas, The $180 million in cuts during this current school year, $100 million of which were taken directly out of school budgets, have inflicted an immediate and severe impact on schools throughout New York City, as principals had been depending on this funding for some important discretionary school programs and supplies; and Whereas, Due to this sudden loss of funding, our public schools are already being forced to cut back on after school programming, trim tutoring hours, cut costs on books, and decrease professional development opportunities; and Whereas, Before shifting the largest share of any proposed cuts to schools, the DOE should examine its central spending priorities, including the exorbitant costs related to consultants, excessive testing, and no-bid contracts; and Whereas, In addition to these City budget cuts, our public schools are also threatened with two funding reductions from the State, which is proposing to (1) decrease the $528 million in additional classroom aid that was promised to New York City by $193 million, and (2) delay State aid for school construction, which will hinder New York City\'s ability to implement desperately needed school construction and repairs; and Whereas, After a 14-year battle for the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, City and State leaders finally made financial commitments to adequately fund public education in New York, but those promises are rapidly disappearing before the eyes of residents and students; and Whereas, Though New York City faces difficult financial times on the horizon, and all agencies are experiencing reductions, we must still establish spending priorities and remain committed to a quality education for our children regardless of what the economy brings; and Whereas, Sufficient resources must be invested into our schools if we are to fulfill our civic duty to prepare the next generation of New Yorkers for college and the workforce; now, therefore, be it Resolution calling upon the Mayor to submit an Executive Budget for fiscal year 2009 that restores proposed cuts to the Department of Education budget, including the $324 million announced in January and any additional 3% (estimated to exceed $200 million) announced in March, and to immediately reverse the $180 million in recently enacted mid-year school budget cuts.