Blog: The Educated Reporter

Funding Restored for NYC Summer Learning Programs

About 100 parents, politicians and advocates protested cuts to summer learning programs in New York City Thursday, May 28, with many city councilors joining in the rally outside City Hall (pictured here). Source: Flickr/ Jeffrey Zeldman (CC BY 2.0)

That was fast. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration announced Thursday that it would restore funding to 40 middle school summer learning programs, just hours after New York City Council members and advocates protested those abrupt cuts that were made two weeks ago. 

The controversial decision weeks ago to re-direct funds to struggling schools left other middle schools scrambling for Plan B — and in some cases, that meant canceling summer programs planned as an extension of the mayor’s School’s Out New York City initiative. The cuts were estimated to affect at least 35,000 children, Chalkbeat reports.

According to education officials, that move still provided 39,000 elementary students and 17,000 middle-schoolers with summer programs at 130 struggling schools. But that wasn’t enough for the 100 parents, politicians and activists protesting outside City Hall — a rally several city councilors left in the middle of Chancellor Carmen Fariña’s address to join. 

“It’s totally creating havoc in many families’ lives, and it’s incredibly frustrating for us from the council’s perspective,” City Councilor Julissa Ferreras, chair of the finance committee, said at the budget meeting, also commenting that to say the council wasn’t happy would have been an understatement

Councilors reminded meeting attendees that the cuts didn’t only affect students, but their parents and would-be summer program providers as well.