Mayor de Blasio and Council Speaker Corey Johnson announced a budget deal at City Hall containing June 14 funding to hire 285 social workers and additional Parks Department staff for the Fiscal Year that starts July 1.
The $92.8 billion spending plan includes $43 million in support for city parks, and will support the hiring of 50 new Urban Park Rangers, 80 new Parks Enforcement Patrol Officers and 300 seasonal workers and gardeners. The administration has also promised $33 million for public libraries.
Focus on Homeless Pupils
The School Social Workers included 85 added through first lady Chirlane McCray’s ThriveNYC mental-health initiative. More than 700 schools do not have full-time socio-emotional support staff, and Mr. Johnson noted that the additional staff would serve schools with a high number of homeless students.
“This is a really personal budget for me. I grew up in a family that struggled,” Mr. Johnson said. “If I wanted a book, we went to the library. If I wanted to play outside, we went to the park. If I needed help, it came from the school guidance counselor. So I know how important schools and parks and libraries are.”
The Mayor also said that his administration was on its way to resolving the decades-long pay disparity between early-childhood educators who work in community-based day-care centers and those who work for the Department of Education. Teachers who work at community-based centers and have a Master’s degree have a starting salary of $42,000, $17,000 less than staff working for the DOE. That gap grows to more than $35,000 after eight years on the job.
“The Council has always said, and I agree, that the idea of equity has to extend to our Teachers as well,” Mr. de Blasio said.
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