Balanced budget means cuts to FDNY, after school


| brennison@queenscourier.com |

Children’s classrooms will remain unaffected in Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 11th executive budget — but kids may have nowhere to go after the final bell rings.

The $68.7 million balanced budget includes no tax increases, but presents deep cuts to after-school programs, day care and fire companies while retaining more than 2,500 teacher positions the mayor proposed eliminating in his preliminary plan.

“Our budget won’t impose any new taxes on New Yorkers, maintains the strength of the NYPD and continues our strong support for public schools,” said Bloomberg on Thursday, May 3.

In Bloomberg’s first fiscal presentation in February, more than 2,500 teacher jobs were to be eliminated through attrition.
“We saved nearly 2,600 classroom teachers, and I am thrilled that the Department of Education has been funded at a level that avoids any further reduction in teachers,” said Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

While teachers were saved, child care and fire companies face the ax.

United Neighborhood Houses (UNH) called Bloomberg’s “lack of commitment” to children “nothing short of disgraceful.”

More than 40,000 children will be without day care and after-school programs if the budget cuts are not restored, UNH said.

Children’s Services budget was cut by $66 million.

Twenty fire companies will also close under Bloomberg’s plan.

The budget will be reviewed during the City Council’s hearings.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues in the City Council to negotiate a budget that will not undermine our children, families and seniors,” Koslowitz said. The new fiscal year begins on July 1.