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Demonstrators escorted out of mayoral meeting over school budget cuts

Mayor Eric Adams faced a group of protesters from Upper Manhattan Monday night denouncing controversial cuts to local schools.

“Look, that’s the clown, that’s the clown,” Adams said. “And that’s what we’re dealing with – people want to spend time being disruptive, that’s what people want to do. But we have to stay focused and not get distracted.”

“Because people want to spend time with what they disagree on and not what they agree on,” he added.

The protesters were immediately escorted out of the Police Athletic League, where Adams was scheduled to hold a public safety discussion with members of his administration and local residents.

“So all this noise, people don’t understand that,” Adams said. “Just because you’re the loudest doesn’t mean you say anything.”

According to an analysis by the New York City Comptroller, nearly 1,200 schools are seeing cuts in the primary source of their individual budgets from the Fair Student Funding formula.

“The mayor, the chancellor and many others have been really trying to gas light the city for weeks, really trying to justify themselves or pretending these are good budget cuts,” said Matt Gonzales, one of the protesters escorting out became. “So we really had to come here to publicly demand a response, right in front of him.”

A woman holds a sign at the rally.
Protesters denouncing controversial cuts to local schools confronted Mayor Eric Adams at a public safety meeting.
Locals speak during the event.
The protesters were immediately escorted out of the Police Athletic League, where Adams was scheduled to hold a public safety discussion.
Demonstrators show signs.
One of the protesters said the security forces who threw him and others out were trying to “shame” him.

“They basically threw me out of here and started looking at my face, trying to shame me, chastising me for using my constitutional right to demand a response from the mayor,” Gonzales said.

The cut budgets — originally projected to total $215 million, but now appear lower as the city expects further enrollment declines — have already resulted in lost programs, as well as teachers and school staff.

Another protester who was escorted, Shoshana Brown, told the Post she was a social worker at Essex Street Academy on the Lower East Side until she was fired from her school for reduced funds on the first day of summer vacation.

“I didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye to my students because summer had already started,” Brown said.

“I’m sad because I have students that I worked very, very hard for,” she said. “Not only won’t I be able to see them graduate — I’m scared they won’t graduate because they won’t have that support, and I was the only person at school that they were really connected to.” ”

At several city forums, including last month’s education policy panel and a city council budget oversight hearing, parents, teachers and advocates have flooded with public comment to condemn the cuts. Council members also later resisted the cuts after hearing from their constituents.

Adams, who acknowledged that the “overwhelming number of questions” at the forum related to youth and schools, continued to attribute the shrunken budgets to drastic enrollment falls at the Department of Education.

“People hijacked the conversation,” Adams said.

https://nypost.com/2022/07/12/school-budget-cut-protesters-escorted-out-of-mayoral-event/ Demonstrators escorted out of mayoral meeting over school budget cuts

JACLYN DIAZ

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