Every year, the Office of Public Policy engages in a robust advocacy season to secure funding for key programs and services that support New York City’s children and families. Fabienne Pierre, manager of advocacy and operations, breaks down this year’s city budget.
After the state budget season came to a close in April, we shifted our focus to the city. This year, 34,000 after-school and summer programming slots were on the chopping block yet again impacting many Children’s Aid community schools. We also continued our efforts to advocate for salary parity for early childhood education workers in community centers across the city.
We along with other city advocates and partners were ready for another tough battle. The Office of Public Policy team met with various city council members and rallied at the steps of city hall with Children’s Aid staff, parents, and students to ensure there were investments made in these critical programs. On Monday, June 11, the city budget was finalized and we are excited to share below what some of it entails.
The FY 19 New York City budget includes:
- $106 million for Fair Fares which will allow nearly 800,000 New Yorkers living at or below the federal poverty level eligible for half-price MetroCards.
- $15 million for School’s Out New York City (SONYC) to restore summer programs for approximately 22,800 middle school students.
- $14.2 million to restore Comprehensive After-School System (COMPASS) elementary after school programs.
- $10.3 million for the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) to increase the number of available jobs to 75,000 as well as to raise the minimum wage for those in the program.
- $19 million for the Work, Learn, & Grow Jobs Program to provide in-school career readiness training and paid employment opportunities to teen and young adults.
- $40 million to fund New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) infrastructure.
- $12 million to help fund Adult Literacy Programs citywide.
These are some great wins for New York City. However, we were unable to see any changes for our early childhood educators. Did you know that a certified pre-k teacher with eight years of experience in a New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) school is paid $30,000 more than a pre-k teacher with the same qualifications in a community-based center? Early childhood education contracts for agencies like Children’s Aid don’t provide enough funding for salary parity for early childhood educators. As a result, community groups across the city struggle with high staff turnover. We didn’t get the funding this year, but will continue to push and work with early childhood advocates, Mayor de Blasio, and city council members to ensure our teachers are justly compensated.
On behalf of the Office of Public Policy, we would like to extend a very special thank you to all of our staff, children, youth, and families who accompanied us to Albany or rallied with us on the steps of City Hall to preserve much needed funding for programs and services. We appreciate you!
If you have any questions or need any additional information please contact the Office of Public Policy.