Curtailing a Service That Parents Depend On in NYC

Judy Hartnett's picture
Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Are Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the City Council doing their traditional budget dance?

Every year, the mayor proposes cutting certain vital city programs and then, at the last minute, the City Council comes to the rescue by restoring at least some of the money.

Council members look like heroes and the mayor gets himself a point or two toward future favors.

It’s a little like professional wrestling.

Of course, some years the mayor means it, and then it’s a little like the war on terror.

This year, one of the mayor’s most worrisome proposals — and I mean “worrisome” in the sense that he has thousands of blue-collar and poor parents very worried — is to cut back the city’s after-school programs.

Currently, New York finances enrichment programs that run from 3 to 6 p.m. at 454 sites, serving 53,000 elementary, middle and high school students and costing $90 million; the proposal is to reduce that to 261 sites, serving 27,000 children for $71 million.

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