Assemblyman Fall (D-Richmond) is calling on the City of New York to prioritize funding for community schools and the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) over campaign finance during budget negotiations for the FY21 budget.
I understand that difficult choices need to be made by the city during this challenging time. We all realize that this global pandemic will cause a long-term financial upset to our city and state. However, when we have to choose between using tax payer dollars to fund political campaigns over funding for programs that will benefit our students and community during this economic crisis, its likely the vast majority of the public will believe that employing our youth during the summer and supporting community schools is more important than using the citys revenue to fund political campaigns and the operations of the Campaign Finance Board. For several months, many of us have been working from home, and our students have been learning virtually. We can create outlets for our students in SYEP to work from home and support those in our community through community schools.
Anything campaign finance related should be revisited at a later date when the economy is healthy. Government should not prioritize publicly funding campaigns at a time when unemployment is increasing, and small businesses are hurting, said Assemblyman Fall.
In April 2020, the New York City Department of Education reported an approximate $264 million budget cut due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The cuts to the DOE are part of a $1.3 billion city program to reduce spending. The biggest cut is estimated to take effect next year where $100 million will be taken from the Fair Student Funding formula, impacting students on the North Shore of Staten Island.
The city has cancelled SYEP and as a result upwards of 75,000 city-funded summer jobs for youth 14 to 24 will be eliminated. It is estimated that cutting the program will save the city $124 million over fiscal year 2020-2021.
The city allocates approximately $56.7 million annual to fund the operations of the Campaign Finance Board and provides matching funds for citywide and local races in the City of New York.
Assemblyman Fall voted in the affirmative to allocate $45 million for the Summer Youth Employment Program in the states budget in April 2020.