January 27, 2017
Earlier this week, Mayor de Blasio released his Preliminary Budget for the upcoming City Fiscal Year 2018, which starts on July 1, 2017. Despite much uncertainty about federal and state funding, the Mayor’s budget proposes funding for several important initiatives that will help children and families.
CCC is extremely pleased that this year’s budget funds the summer camp programs for over 22,000 middle school students that CCC, our colleagues, providers, and parents and children from all New York City advocated for the past two years. This will keep children safe and engaged this summer while their parents are at work. While this funding is currently only for the upcoming summer, we are thrilled that our past advocacy efforts helped secure this important victory.
We are also very excited that the budget proposes to add $6.2 million to create ten new Beacon Community Centers. These school-based community centers operate in the afternoons and evenings and on weekends and school vacations to provide an array of programming and activities for children and adults, including educational and cultural activities, ESL programs, recreational opportunities, life skills and career awareness coaching, and more.
We are also pleased to see funding for additional crossing guards, and funding to improve the data system for special education students. The capital budget also proposes additional funds for NYCHA public housing repairs and new school seats to reduce overcrowding.
As is always the case, there are other critical needs that this proposed budget not address. Notably, while the Preliminary Budget includes a shelter re-estimate that baselines an additional $123 million for the cost of homeless shelters, there are no new initiatives proposed to prevent homelessness, improve the conditions in shelter, eliminate the use of hotels for families with children and/or help families secure permanent housing.
In addition, the Preliminary Budget does not expand universal free lunch beyond students in stand-alone middle schools, does not maintain funding for social workers in schools with high rates of homeless children, and does not restore many City Council initiatives that are beneficial to children and families.
In the coming months, we will be working hard to support the programs that make progress for children and families and advocate for the programs and services currently missing from the budget. Stay tuned for opportunities to weigh in with the Mayor and the City Council.
You can read our full summary of the preliminary budget here.