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NYC Mayor Eric Adams pressured to add more education funds to budget. Here's what City Council members want.

City Council putting pressure on Mayor Adams to add more education funds to budget
City Council putting pressure on Mayor Adams to add more education funds to budget 02:48

NEW YORK -- New York City Schools Chancellor David Banks was on the hot seat Wednesday as the City Council tried to pressure Mayor Eric Adams' administration to restore more education cuts in his new budget.

The mayor has already added $500 million in funds, but parents and members of the council's Progressive Caucus say it's just not enough.

Members of the Emergency Coalition to Save Education Programs rallied at City Hall to pressure the mayor to cough up more dough. Members of the caucus figured prominently in the demonstration, which is indicative of the rising tensions between the moderate mayor and the more liberal members of the council.

"While this administration has restored some funding in the executive budget, that is simply not enough," Councilmember Shahana Hanif said.

"Nothing is more important than giving our kids at the earliest ages the step-up that they need to succeed in their education," New York City Comptroller Brad Lander said.

A list of City Council members' demands 

The clash includes demands that the mayor add:

  • $170 million for pre-K and 3-K seats
  • $10 million in new funding to market the early childhood programs to parents
  • $96 million to replace expiring federal funds for pre-school special education
  • $60 million for the school food program
  • $65 million to replace expiring federal funds for nurses at 130 schools
  • $3 million to support children with special needs
  • $25 million for child care vouchers for undocumented children and families

"The council's preliminary budget response laid out how we can save these programs, turn the system around, and expand access to full-year and full-day seats that families need," City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams said.

"The money is there. It is within reach, waiting to be allocated where it's needed the most. Now it's time to bring the investment full circle," City Council Committee on Education Chair Rita Joseph said.

During testimony before the council, Banks said he already had allocated $5 million for an outreach program to preschool parents.

"We are also making investments in pre-K special education, investing an additional $25 million in special education classes and funding for related services, bringing the total to nearly $950 million," Banks said. "Our administration is committed to ensuring that our youngest learners have access to high-quality early education that is academically rigorous."

The chancellor bragged about the fact that enrollment is finally up, reversing a downward trend that began during the pandemic.

The council and the mayor have to reach a budget agreement by the end of June.

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