Assemblyman Abbate Condemns City For Seizing Schools’ ‘Rainy Day Funds’

Proposed attack on schools’ surpluses unwarranted and unfair

Brooklyn – Assemblyman Peter Abbate, representing Bath Beach, Bensonhurst, Borough Park and Dyker Heights in the 49th Assembly District, strongly denounced NYC Schools Chancellor Black today for her plan to siphon away half of any public school’s budget surplus.

“The Mayor and Chancellor Black are basically committing robbery here” Assemblyman Abbate said. “The Mayor is cutting jobs and Chancellor Black is literally taking money away from our children, money that the schools themselves have saved.”

“Schools are being punished for fiscal responsibility. The funds Chancellor Black is taking have been saved by forward thinking principals and set aside to help hire new teachers and fight growing class sizes. With the Mayor firing teachers and Chancellor Black taking this money, the City is putting our children’s education in jeopardy.”

Mayor Bloomberg recently released the specifics of his budget, going ahead with his previously stated plan of cutting 6,166 teachers’ jobs. Shortly thereafter, Chancellor Black sent a letter to the city’s principals informing them that any funds they had saved from this year’s budget, in an attempt to offset next year’s cuts, would be halved by Department of Education taxes. Numerous principals have already approached Assemblyman Abbate with their concerns about Chancellor Black’s plan.

“The person who came up with this plan should no longer have a job at the Department of Education,” Assemblyman Abbate said. “The hypocrisy is incredible. The Mayor laments the firing of teachers but calls layoffs inevitable, and the Chancellor targets the only funds the schools have that could possibly save jobs. It’s like they want to fire teachers.”