July 9, 2021
On June 30, 2021, the City Council and Mayor de Blasio agreed on a $98.7 billion dollar budget for the City Fiscal Year 2022. The largest budget in NYC history, the FY22 Adopted Budget makes use of $14 billion dollars in federal aid made available through several federal stimulus packages over the past year. The vast majority of federally-funded initiatives were included in the Mayor’s proposed Executive Budget in April. These included the expansion of 3-K to every district with the goal of universal access by 2023, $600 million to achieve 100% of Fair Student Funding for every school, $500 million in academic recovery, $200 million for Summer Rising, $32 million in emergency food distribution, and $140 million for a wide range of behavioral health supports. For a full summary of the FY22 Executive Budget please visit our analysis. All of these Executive Budget proposals made it into the Adopted Budget.
Additional and notable investments were negotiated with the City Council and included in the Adopted Budget, among them a $24 million increase for Summer Rising programs to raise per-child rates, $20 million for community-based food pantries, $34 million to increase the City FHEPS rental vouchers, $15 million to expand the NYC Kids Rise college savings initiative, and $7 million in baselined investments for youth in foster care. Additionally, City Council discretionary funds returned to pre-pandemic 2020 funding levels, providing much-needed support across many child and family service areas.
However, the level of suffering and trauma New York City’s children and families have experienced requires rigorous monitoring of the implementation of budget commitments and ongoing advocacy. As the city moves forward with the expansion of 3-K and the finalization of the DOE’s child care awards, there is a critical opportunity to expand access to full-day/year-round child care across all settings, and to ensure timely contract registrations. In addition, the Department of Education recently announced plans for a federally-funded $635 million academic recovery effort, as part of $7 billion in federal educational resources that can be leveraged over the next three years. We hope to see within recovery plans efforts to address the needs of special populations of students notably absent from the budget, including English-language learners and students in temporary housing. City shelters are in desperate need of 150 community coordinators to not only prepare homeless students for school reentry but to connect them to educational and social supports. Finally, long term recognition and investment in the human service workforce is long overdue, and greater effort is needed to embed COLAS within human service contracts and comprehensive salary parity for early education teachers is needed for preschool special education teachers and center directors.
Looking ahead, we are eager to work with the current City Administration and City Council and the incoming 2022 Mayoral Administration and new City Council to ensure that the investments announced today and funding decisions still evolving, result in an equitable recovery and promote the well-being of New York’s 1.7 million children and their families.