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Advocate for NYC budget makes great progress, but more is needed / Public News Service

Advocate for NYC budget makes great progress, but more is needed / Public News Service

New York City advocates are excited yet concerned about the 2025 budget.

In recent weeks, funding has been restored for certain education programs, such as community coordinators in shelters. They helped more than 40,000 city students living in temporary housing. Funding for school psychologists and social workers was also restored.

Randi Levine, policy director at Advocates for Children of New York, said other programs need saving.

“Funding is running out for the Mental Health Continuum, a program that gives students in 50 schools access to accelerated mental health care, and that is very important, especially as we face a youth mental health crisis” , Levine said.

Other programs facing cuts include restorative justice practices that help schools reduce suspensions. Feedback on the budget has been mixed, as many programs will remain in place, although some may still face cuts. Although the programs began using short-term funding, Levine believes their lasting effects in a post-pandemic world make them a permanent necessity.

Education programs for immigrants are also on the horizon. Promise NYC provides child care for children regardless of immigration status, and its communications and outreach initiative for immigrant families helps parents who don’t speak English learn about their children’s school.

Murad Awawdeh, president and CEO of the New York Immigration Coalition, said it would be a mistake to cut spending on things like the language access program.

“That program, which would expand language access throughout New York City, build a bank of interpreters and create translation cooperatives in the city and save the city hundreds of millions of dollars, was halted and not reinstated,” Awawdeh said. pointed out.

He added that the recently passed state budget gives New York City enough funding to restore some initiatives, but not enough to support others. Awawdeh argued that housing unaffordability persists and people are struggling to make ends meet. The city must take action to help ordinary New Yorkers.

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