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NYC plans massive funding cuts to education

By staff |
April 20, 2020
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NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.

New York, NY – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday, April 16, that the city will cut $827 million from the department of education budget in the next fiscal year. These cuts to the NYC public schools will mean a hiring freeze, fewer counseling resources, the elimination of youth employment summer programs, and reductions in overtime, materials and training.

Mayor de Blasio claims that these cuts are necessary in order to address the current crisis we are facing as a result COVID-19. While the city absolutely needs to allocate significant funding and resources for healthcare, cuts to public school budgets are hardly the only way to do this. As a city with one of the highest concentrations of billionaires in the world, New York could easily solve its budget crisis by implementing higher taxes on the rich, who have been the least affected by COVID-19 due to their immense wealth and access to resources. Instead, the city is choosing to slash funding to public schools, directly affecting the many New Yorkers who cannot afford the steep costs of private school.

This decision reflects the same trend we see again and again under capitalism: when faced with a financial crisis, leaders like Mayor de Blasio will always put the interests of the rich first. Even though plenty of money exists in New York to keep funding schools at the current levels, de Blasio is acting like his hands are tied, because he would rather take away public funding than redistribute any of the money held by the rich.