Last night the New York City Council overwhelmingly approved the New York City budget for next year. As Speaker Christine C. Quinn said, “Our budget is a statement of our priorities, and New York City’s children are our number one priority. I’m proud of this agreement that will give more children greater opportunities to learn.”
Earlier this week, we reported that about $150 million of a total of $170 million had been restored to the budget to save endangered after-school and child care services. Now we have more details to share about services for young people.
- An additional $50.6 million has been added to the city budget to support 251 new Out-of-School Time (OST) programs in the 2012-2013 school year.
- More than $4 million has been added to the budget for Beacon after-school centers. This will keep open the seven Beacon centers that had been slated for closure in the earlier Executive budget (including the one TASC staff member Laurie Crutcher wrote about earlier this month). The city will contribute additional funds to the operating budgets of the 66 city-funded Beacon centers throughout the city.
- An additional $926,000 will support more than 700 after-school seats at 25 New York City Housing Authority-based Cornerstone programs.
- The CASA (Cultural After-School Adventure) program was restored to its full funding of $5,100,000.
Although these funds are budgeted only for one fiscal year, they will provide thousands of New York City kids and families with critical services they need to keep going in this economy. New York City’s Out-of-School Time system, a ground-breaking initiative of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, still stands.