New York, NY—Today, the United Federation of Teachers, joined by individual teachers, filed suit in Manhattan State Supreme Court to stop the Adams administration from cutting as much as $2 billion from city schools. The lawsuit charges that as the State increased education funding to the city's public schools, New York City illegally reduced its contribution to education.
Liza Schwartzwald, Director Of Economic Justice and Family Empowerment, New York Immigration Coalition:
“All students in New York City have the right to a quality education. The Mayor has continuously scapegoated asylum seekers to justify current and proposed cuts to the education budget. But the administration’s austerity cuts do not reflect the reality of our City’s financial situation, with the Independent Budget Office providing estimates that are billions of dollars less than the Mayor’s proposed numbers, while New York’s tax revenues have increased by $5 billion since last year. Rather than pursuing long term solutions to lower asylum seeker costs further, the Mayor instead doubles down on unjustified cuts that will have long term detrimental effects on the many students who have been struggling to catch up after years of destabilization and uncertainty. As enrollment rates are increasing for the first time in over five years, it is time to invest in our public schools. We stand with the United Federation of Teachers, and all New York City public school students, in the fight to ensure a quality education for all New York children.”
The UFT lawsuit, filed on December 21st, 2023, covers multiple fronts. First, it argues that the City’s mayoral control requires that the Mayor keep school budgets stable while local revenues are up. Second, it argues that cuts will require local school districts to use new state funds to supplement local spending, which it cannot legally do under the state’s Contract for Excellence. Finally, it argues these cuts undermine students’ rights to “a sound basic education” as provided for under New York State’s constitution.