Judge orders New York City to redo $37B budget for public schools

The judge's ruling reset the DOE budget to 2022 levels until the City Council and Mayor Adams work out something new.

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Friday, August 5, 2022
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The Adams administration had planned to cut $200 million from the NYC Department of Education's $37 billion budget.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A Manhattan judge on Friday ordered New York City to redo its budget for public schools after ruling it was completed "in contravention of New York State Law."

Mayor Eric Adams' administration had planned to cut $200 million from the NYC Department of Education's $37 billion budget, citing declining enrollment, but parents and teachers sued, arguing the budget was adopted using an improper procedure.

Judge Lyle Frank sided with them, ruling Schools Chancellor David Banks had wrongly invoked an emergency declaration to delay public comment on the budget until after it was adopted.

"What was most in question was whether the Emergency Declaration put forth by the Schools Chancellor on May 31 was a valid exercise of the Chancellor's powers, the Court finds that it was not," Frank's order said. "As such, the vote of the New York City Council on the FY'23 budget should have occurred after the Panel for Education Policy held its own vote on the budget, which it did not."

The judge's ruling reset the DOE budget to 2022 levels until the City Council and Adams work out something new.

"New York City FY '23 budget as it relates to expenditures by the Department of Education only is vacated, and all such spending levels shall revert back to the levels in the Fiscal Year 2022 New York City budget," the order said.

The teachers' union immediately welcomed the decision.

"Now is the time for Mayor Adams to work with the City Council to restore the funds to our public schools," said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers.

The mayor's office said they will appeal the ruling:

"Students, teachers, and parents need finalized budgets to ensure they are on track for a smooth opening next month. We are disappointed in the judge's ruling, and will be taking immediate steps to appeal."

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