April 9, 2021
The New York City Council’s response to the Preliminary budget is a robust and well-targeted approach to meet the needs of children and families in our current moment. CCC applauds the Council for their focus on and continued commitment to the full continuum of supports and services upon which New Yorkers rely, and the non-profit community-based organizations that serve them.
Some of the most promising Investments proposed in the Council’s Response include: robust increases in the Fair Student Funding formula and community schools; increased investments in school and community-based behavioral health supports; salary parity expansion to include providers of preschool special education and child care center directors; expansion of infant and toddler child care capacity; deepening of the City’s Earned Income Tax Credit and expansion of the NYC Kids Rise college savings initiative; an increase in the value of city rent subsidies to combat family homelessness; enhanced services for immigrant households, including funding to reconnect families to their schools; and expansion of primary prevention Family Enrichment Centers and restoration and enhancement of the Fair Futures initiative for foster youth.
The upcoming budget negotiation process should advance these proposals, among others, and offers the opportunity to go further in several key areas to better meet the stark challenges facing our city’s children and families. First, a robust and effective approach to summer and year-round afterschool program must commence with a full restoration of Summer SONYC funds supporting middle school programming and include funding that allows for the expansion of age-appropriate summer and afterschool programming K-12 – with an emphasis on whole child programming approaches that meet the physical, social emotional and academic needs of children and youth. City Council discretionary funds have historically supported a wide array of services for children and families. We must ensure restorations are made in areas directly responsive to the heightened needs New Yorkers are facing, including child and maternal health, anti-hunger initiatives, and community-based behavioral health supports. In addition, we must strengthen initiatives and resources to reduce food insecurity in schools.
We look forward to working with our partners in the City Council and the City administration as the budget negotiations proceed to ensure that they enact a budget that prioritizes the needs of children and families and puts them on the road towards recovery.