New York City’s public schools have been experiencing a reduction in enrollments over the last few years. This reduction in enrollment has been attributed to the success of charter schools, with school children opting to study at parochial schools. While speaking at a hearing, Schools Chancellor David Banks stated that the current state of enrollment would likely lead to budgetary reductions for New York City Schools.
“We’re going to do everything we can to try to keep the schools as whole as possible while they continue to fight the good fight of getting kids to come back to the schools,” Banks said.
Chancellor Banks and the Adams Administration has noted that schools that will enroll students from asylum-seeking families will not face the possibility of significant budgetary reductions.
Chancellor Banks’ warning regarding budget cuts comes after a controversial $357 million budgetary reduction last year. The budget cuts affected educators and students. However, the Chancellor pointed out the possibility of utilizing federal stimulus funds to soften the blow of the budget cuts.
“The stimulus dollars will not last forever,” said Banks. “If you have a school that had 800 students and they were funded for 800 students and now the school has 400 students, the school doesn’t get the same budget.”
The schools budget cuts that were implemented last year caused shock among students, educators, and parents. Last year’s budget cuts adversely affected art programs and extra-curricular activities that help students mold their creativity, hands-on abilities, and critical thinking.
Critics of the possible budget cuts called on the city to adequately contribute to schools and education. Policy director at Advocates for Children of New York Randi Levine commented on the budget cuts saying, “At a time when New York City is receiving an increase in education funding from New York State and continues to have unspent federal COVID-19 relief funding, schools should receive additional resources to meet the needs of their students — and certainly should not lose funding.”