Fears are mounting that Brooklyn public schools will face more budget cuts next year.
Concerned parents have already spoken out about the possibility that local schools, which just dodged $99 million in proposed cuts for September, will lose more money in 2009.
While touting the elimination of those cuts planned for this year, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn wouldn’t say whether or not she anticipates additional cuts next year. But she did say that she expects the city’s financial crisis, which many believe will lead to future budget cuts, to worsen.
“The economy is getting worse – not better – and that’s going to have an impact on everything,” Quinn told reporters.
Quinn said she expects the current economic downturn to last “longer than we would like.”
“Each budget and each year is different and distinct,” she continued. “It’s a long 10 months away and I’m not going to prejudge anything but say our priorities are our priorities.”
The speaker noted, “Education is a priority for the City Council.”
It was the City Council that did battle with Mayor Michael Bloomberg to eliminate the proposed $99-million cut.
When the money was restored, Brooklyn parents rejoiced but quickly began to worry about next year.
“I’m really concerned that somewhere down the line the mayor may come again with some other cuts,” said District 21 Community Education Council (CEC) President Ronald Stewart, who has two daughters at Brooklyn Studio Secondary School in Bensonhurst.
“I don’t know if you could forever protect [schools] if the economy goes south,” said District 22 CEC President Christopher Spinelli, whose son attends P.S. 207 in Marine Park. “That may be something that may have to be revisited.”