NYC Mayor Adams set to reverse education budget cuts for popular summer program: Exclusive

NYC Mayor Adams set to reverse education budget cuts for popular summer program: Exclusive

Mayor Adams will announce Friday that he’s cancelling plans to cut funding for local community schools and the city’s popular student summer program, Summer Rising, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Spokespeople for the mayor did not immediately return a request for comment ahead of a noon event where he was expected to announce the budget restorations.

Today’s anticipated announcement follows restorations in spending over the last serval days to police, fire and sanitation, which Adams has attributed to an improved financial picture.

Under cuts Adams unveiled in November amid the rising cost of caring for migrants, middle school students who participate in Summer Rising, a free summer initiative that combines academics and camp activities, were expected to see their hours scaled back — with programming ending two hours earlier Mondays through Thursdays.

Friday sessions were to have been be eliminated entirely under the cuts.

Some 30,000 of the program’s 110,000 slots, which are also open to elementary school students, were expected to be impacted by the change. Adams’ November plan slashed nearly $20 million for the program from the budget of the city’s Youth and Community Development Department, which runs Summer Rising together with the Department of Education.

Mayor Eric Adams hold a kickoff event for the 2022 Summer Rising program at PS 188 - The Island School in Manhattan on Friday, July 8, 2022. Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office
A young student is pictured during a kickoff event for the 2022 Summer Rising program at PS 188 The Island School in Manhattan on Friday, July 8, 2022. (Michael Appleton / Mayoral Photography Office)

Adams was also set to cut $10 million this year and $8 million in the future from community schools, which work with local organizations to provide services to not only students, but their whole families. While children receive healthcare and mental health counseling, parents can take adult education classes and other services.

The community schools initiative, which began in 2014 with 45 schools, as of last school year included 417 institutions citywide, according to the city’s Independent Budget Office.

It was not immediately clear if Adams’ Friday announcement will restore the cuts in full or how the programs would continue to be bankrolled in years to come.

Both initiatives were expanded using temporary federal dollars during the pandemic-era that expire next school year. The IBO estimated $55 million federal pandemic funds continue to support the program in 2024.

The announcement comes as the city faces a legal challenge from the United Federation of Teachers over slashing the education budget while revenues are up and state education funding reached record highs this year.

NYC schools Chancellor David Banks on a visit to a Summer Rising program at P.S. 161 in Harlem, Wednesday, July 27, 2022. (Michael Elsen-Rooney / New York Daily News)
NYC Schools Chancellor David Banks is pictured during a visit to a Summer Rising program at P.S. 161 in Harlem, Wednesday, July 27, 2022. (Michael Elsen-Rooney / New York Daily News)

While Friday’s restorations will inject more funding into the Department of Education, it will not impact most individual schools’ bottom lines.

Adams’ revised plan, announced in November, would’ve shaved $547 million off the Department of Education’s budget this school year — a figure that will grow to $602 million in the 2024-2025 school year and even more in the 2025-2026 year, budget documents show.

On the school level, programs that enrolled fewer students than expected this fall will have to return the extra funding received per pupil this year. While the majority of schools registered more children than projected with an influx of migrant families, more than 650 schools will lose on average $167,000 each.

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