Queens Chronicle: Advocates and pols pan after-school cuts
By Anna Gustafson
While Queens education advocates and legislators praised Mayor Bloomberg for restoring close to 2,600 teaching positions in the executive budget he released last week, they panned his proposal to axe funding for after-school programs throughout the city, including 29 sites in the borough.
The mayor’s $68.7 billion proposed budget, which must be approved by the City Council before any of its measures are implemented, does not cut 2,570 teachers through attrition, as Bloomberg originally proposed earlier this year, but it does slash about $170 million to children’s services. The cut in youth funding could result in the number of after-school programs in Queens to drop from 81 to 52, according to the Campaign for Children. Additionally, seven Beacon programs — essentially community centers for children and adults — in the city would be closed, including one at JHS 190 in Forest Hills and another at MS 58 in Bayside.