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Jobs, Programs At Risk Due To Budget Gap, Yonkers Schools Chief Says

Yonkers High School.
Yonkers High School. Photo Credit: File

More than 200 positions and several programs may be eliminated by the Yonkers School District as officials face a potential $45 million budget gap for the 2018-19 academic year.

If Yonkers Schools Superintendent Edwin Quezada is to balance the budget, officials said that the district may need to lay off 251 positions, reduce programs and eliminate the district’s unassigned fund balance.

Citing a rise in employee salaries and benefits, the rising cost of utilities, transportation and tuitions, Quezada noted that, “what cost the district $592 million this year will cost us $623 million in 2018-19." The district is facing a $45.3 million budget gap.

“As of this date, there are insufficient revenue from federal, state and city sources. The anticipated District revenue for 2018-2019 is expected to be $580.7 million,” Quezada said. “Our fiscal struggle for sustained recurring revenues will persist based on what we know today. The annual gap could persistently be $45 million or more, and the only option will be more employee layoffs.”

“This is unconscionable, irresponsible and unjust; we cannot sacrifice the future education of 27,000 children who do achieve some of the highest educational results despite this impediment.”

The Yonkers Board of Education will discuss and vote on the abolishment of the positions at a meeting on May 16. The trustees must approve the abolishment of the positions at the May Stated Meeting to actualize the abolished positions by July 1, officials said.

“Throughout this budget process, I have been transparent and accountable to the extraordinary needs of our students and what is required to provide their continual academic, social and emotional growth,” Quezada added “Yonkers Public Schools remains relentless in our fight for equity. Our students cannot be deprived a sound basic education because the Yonkers Public Schools does not receive sustained recurring revenue.”

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