Education News

City nears deal to restore $250M in school funding: sources

The city is in discussions to move $250 million in funding to schools that are facing steep cuts due to lower enrollment, sources told NY1 on Wednesday.

“Adrienne and I have been taking since before the budget was passed. We have been talking. We have not stopped talking about this issue and some other issues around this. She’s a great partner. There is no agreement thus far,” Mayor Eric Adams said at an unrelated press conference Wednesday, referencing negotiations with City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams.

But sources said a deal between the City Council and the Adams administration for the funding is close — but not yet finalized. It comes after weeks of protest from public school staff and parents.

“I’ve had fruitful conversations with the speaker about how do we deal with the crises we’re having in education around decreasing enrollment and some other real financial crisis,” Mayor Adams said.

He added, even if a deal is reached, there’s no new money and any relief will have to come from somewhere else in the budget.

“Principals are given funding to run their schools and some of that funding is earmarked for a specific reason,” Mayor Adams said. “And if we could come up with a way of saying instead of you just having to use it on that specific reason, that you could use it for something else that you want to free you up, that’s a conversation we can have.”

The cuts were first included in city budget documents in February, but they garnered little attention until June, when schools received their individual budgets.

By then, the budget had been finalized, ultimately leading many Council members — including Speaker Adams — to protest against a cut that was in a budget they themselves had voted for, and had celebrated when it was enacted. This week, several members apologized for their votes.

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