Advocates converge on DOE headquarters to protest potential budget cuts to schools, enrichment programs
Education advocates from across the five boroughs rallied outside of the city’s Department of Education headquarters to protest potential budget cuts to city schools and a number of enrichment programs.
Advocates were joined by fellow New Yorkers and elected officials, as protesters say that the agency is currently facing a $1 billion shortfall for the 2024 fiscal year, adding that a number of school programs and other much-needed services would be impacted.
“What that means is schools with afterschool programs are not going to be able to have them, we are going to lose more teachers and we are already suffering a shortage now," said Paulette Healy, representative from the Citywide Council on Special Education.
Many outside of the DOE’s headquarters for the rally say they are concerned about the future of the city’s new 3-K school program for early childhood education.
"The city has decided not to move forward with the planned expansion of 3-K. We think it's important for children who need early child education get a seat and it includes those with disabilities,” said Randi Levine, policy director for Advocates for Children of New York.
A City Hall spokesperson provided a statement that read, in part:
“We respect the vital work our teachers do daily, and we will continue to make critical investments in our schools. The savings accomplished in this budget did not impact services or result in layoffs, and we did not take a dime from our classrooms.”
The City Council and Mayor Eric Adams have until June 30 to negotiate and pass a city budget.