April 26, 2018
For Immediate Release: April 26, 2018
Contact: Elysia Murphy (212) 673-1800 x18 firstname.lastname@example.org
Citizens’ Committee for Children (CCC) appreciates the de Blasio Administration’s efforts to make New York City a more fair and equitable city to all who live in the five boroughs. While the Executive Budget takes some steps toward these ends, we believe that the administration and the City budget must go further to achieve these goals, and should include additional investments in reducing and preventing family homelessness, promoting the well-being of homeless children and their families, creating salary parity for early education teachers, creating universal after-school for elementary school students, and ensuring all children participating in after-school programs can participate in summer camp programming.
We are pleased to see the investment of $125 million in fair student funding, $30.55 million to expand early literacy programs, and $1.2 million to evaluate the effectiveness of Thrive mental health initiatives. We also greatly appreciate the City stepping in to fill the budget gap created by the State shirking its previously shared commitment to youth in the juvenile justice system and thank the Mayor for both offsetting the state cut to the Close to Home Juvenile Justice placement system and investing funds to implement Raise the Age. That said, we are disappointed that the budget proposes to include funding for Department of Corrections staff to temporarily provide security for the children in secure detention.
While we appreciate the Mayor’s plan to restore $10.3 million for the Bridging the Gap program, which includes 43 social workers in schools with high numbers of homeless students and additional one-year funding for 10 additional social workers in schools, for a total of $11.9 million of one-year funding, the homelessness crisis demands that the City go further. We once again urge the City to invest in 100 social workers in schools and 50 social workers in shelters and to baseline this funding so that it is not subject to the annual budget dance. Similarly, we want the City to ensure safe and supportive care for homeless New Yorkers and while we understand the need for another $158 million shelter re-estimate, we continue to urge the City to do more to prevent family homelessness, expand permanent affordable housing options for these families and do more to promote the well-being of homeless children and their families, particularly those living in commercial hotel rooms.
We are extremely disappointed that this proposed budget not only fails to invest but actually cuts programming for some of the most vulnerable New Yorkers, particularly children. This includes failing to invest $5 million to ensure foster children can be bused to their home schools, cutting $16 million of elementary after-school programming for 9,000 children, and once again cutting $20.35 million of summer camp for 34,000 middle school children. While the administration may perceive the annual summer camp funding as part of a budget dance with the City Council, leaving this funding uncertain until the end of June when the program starts in July, will once again leave low-income working parents uncertain about how their children will be safe this summer. We strongly urge the administration to once again restore this cut by the May Youth Services Budget Hearing.
Finally, we are also disappointed that the budget fails to create salary parity between early childhood teachers in community based organizations and DOE schools, who are doing the same job, but for more hours. Teachers in CBOs continue to earn significantly less than their DOE peers and the salary disparity grows over time. We thank the City Council for making salary parity a priority in their Preliminary Budget response and urge the Administration to work with the Council to address this inequity in the Adopted Budget.
CCC looks forward to working with the Administration and the City Council to ensure that the Adopted Budget for City Fiscal Year 2019 takes these additional steps to better address needs of New York City’s children.
This statement should be attributed to Jennifer March, Executive Director, Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York.
About Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York
Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York educates and mobilizes New Yorkers to make the city a better place for children. Since 1944, our advocacy has combined public policy research and data analysis with citizen action. We cast light on the issues, educate the public, engage allies, and identify and promote practical solutions to ensure that every New York City child is healthy, housed, educated and safe. For more information on CCC, visit our web site at www.cccnewyork.org. Stay up to date on the latest news and information regarding the well-being of New York City’s children by following us on Facebook and Twitter.