City Council Candidate Argues Against Squeezing Schools
City Council candidate Christopher Marte: “Since enrollment in many District 2 schools has gone down severely, schools will have their budgets slashed at the very moment when they need money the most.”
City Council candidate Christopher Marte led a February 4 rally on the steps of Tweed Courthouse (the headquarters of the City’s Department of Education, or DOE) to demand “budget amnesty” for public schools in the Downtown district he hopes to represent.
The call is based on a fiscal dynamic that governs public education funding in New York. Each New York City school has its budget adjusted twice in the school years, based on current enrollment numbers. If these rise, the money a principal has available to spend goes up. But if enrollment shrinks, that school’s budget also contracts, based on the assumption that schools with fewer students need less funding.
“In normal times, this system works relatively well,” Mr. Marte says. “But these are not normal times. If the upcoming budget adjustment goes through, the families who stayed are going to face consequences because of those who chose to leave. Since enrollment in many Community Education Council District 2 schools have gone down severely, schools will have their budgets slashed at the very moment when they need money the most.”
“We have to urge the DOE to act swiftly and grant amnesty to schools,” he continues. “This is what happened in 2010, in the wake of the financial crisis, and it needs to happen again now.”
This policy would avert a financial squeeze in which local schools are deemed to “owe” money back to the DOE, which is repaid by having their budgets slashed further in the future.
“Never have our school teachers and administrators worked harder than they have during the COVID era,” Mr. Marte argues. “Never have our children and their families been put through more change and trauma. Let’s not repay them by punishing them for a situation beyond their control. For the students that stayed, and for the students that left but will return, we demand amnesty.”
“We know that families who left the City will be back, and their kids will return to their friends and teachers in our public schools,” he concludes. “But to ensure their return, their schools should not be forced into debt.”
In a separate development, two community leaders will be hosting an online meet-and-greet tonight (Tuesday, February 9), starting at 7:00 pm, at which local residents can pose questions to Mr. Marte. Justine Cuccia, a co-founder of Democracy for Battery Park City, and Vittoria Fariello, the Democratic Party District Leader for the election district hat includes Battery Park City, note that, “the wisdom that ‘all politics is local’ has never been truer than it is right now. This is easy to overlook when national events like a pandemic and economic downturn monopolize our attention. And it is easy to be lulled into distraction by recent good news, such as President Biden and Vice President Harris taking office, and the worst president in American history being evicted from the Oval Office.”
“But let’s get real,” they continue. “The bad news isn’t over, and the good news is not good enough — at least not yet. That’s why we need strong, smart representation at the local level. A voice that not only speaks for us, but a leader who knows how to listen: Christopher Marte.”
Editorial note: Ms. Cuccia is related to the reporter.
For the Birds
To the editor:
The current issue (BroadsheetDAILY January 29) left me wondering about the current mental state of not just our leaders, but of the general population as well.
A new law to require “bird friendly” construction, and the Mayor’s announcement that a new bike lane will be created on the Brooklyn Bridge.
As for the birds, just another ‘woke’ measure that will accomplish nothing except to add to the costs of construction in New York City. As for the bikers, the Brooklyn Bridge is already a nightmare during rush hour in either direction.
I suggest that we re-direct our efforts to give the birds a bird lane across the bridge so they can easily escape Manhattan for fewer tall glass buildings. We can put some bird seed at the Brooklyn side to attract them.
As for the bikers, let Citibike build another bridge.
Transit Hub Becomes Venue for Multiple Violent Crime
The Fulton Center subway and retail complex (at the corner of Broadway and Fulton Street) has been the scene of several violent assaults in recent days. On Friday, January 29, shortly after 11:00 pm, a gang of six young people (four male and two female) quietly entered the Dunkin Donuts location within the facility, and crept up behind a man who was placing an order at the counter. To read more…
A Shore Thing
HRPT Moves Ahead with Plans for ‘Beach,’ Park and Historic Sculpture for Gansevoort Peninsula
The Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT) has released a package of three requests for proposals (RFPs) intended to kickstart the process of transforming the Gansevoort Peninsula—a five-acre-plus chersonese that juts out from the West Side waterfront, between Gansevoort and West 13th Streets—into a new public amenity.
Plans call for a scenic beach (more for viewing the water than public bathing, owing to concerns about hygiene and safety), along with a 56,000-square-foot ballfield for use by local youth leagues, a playground, an outdoor “river gym” (consisting of rust-proof calisthenics equipment), a dog run, and public restrooms.
Niou’s Push to Repeal Law That Targeted Transgender People Signed Into Law
A bill pushed through the State Assembly by member Yuh-Line Niou (who represents Lower Manhattan), which aims to repeal an anti-loitering statute that has come to be known by a bitterly ironic name—the “Walking While Trans” ban—was signed into law on Tuesday. To read more…
Vendor, Vidi, Vici
Council Member and Advocacy Group Score Win for Street Vendors
City Council member Margaret Chin, in partnership with a Lower Manhattan-based nonprofit, has spearheaded the passage of a new law that is poised to revitalize an economic engine of upward mobility for immigrant New Yorkers living near the poverty line.
On January 28, the City Council voted to enact a bill that will gradually lift the limit on the number of street vendor licenses issued by the City, which has been frozen at roughly 3,000 permits since 1983. To read more…
Florence Mendheim was a Jewish librarian who went undercover in the 1930s to spy on Nazis around New York City. This program, co-presented by the Museum and the Leo Baeck Institute, will explore her fascinating life and legacy. Mendheim went undercover at a moment in which American Nazism was flourishing. Local Nazi groups in the New York area were distributing propaganda, setting up summer camps, and hosting large rallies. Mendheim, an employee of the New York Public Library, was inspired to document and resist these groups. In the course of her undercover work, she used at least three pseudonyms: KQX (for correspondence with a Rabbi), Gertrude Mueller (for the Nazis), and Anna Hitler (for conducting genealogical research on Adolf Hitler). $10
Esteemed first-generation authors Tina Chang, Kristopher Jansma, and Esther Amini in Livestream conversation hosted by the literary nonprofit, Pen Parentis. Interactive Q&A with audience participation. Free
Sounding A Lot Like the Leftists of 2011, Young Republicans Re-Occupy Zuccotti Park
On Sunday afternoon, several dozen members of the New York Young Republican Club gathered in the Financial District to protest alleged stock market manipulation by large traders, at the expense of individual investors.
No judgment for those of you who will want to drop those new year’s resolutions (or whatever other health kicks you’ve got going on) after reading this PSA:
NYC Restaurant Week launched this week, as hundreds of hot spots citywide have been lining up special delivery deals through February 28.
Promotions include lunch or dinner with a side for $20.21, two-course brunches and lunches ($26) and three-course dinners ($42), mostly Monday through Friday. (Some participating restaurants are honoring those prices on weekends.)
Dozens of restaurants south of Chambers Street plan to take part in NYC Restaurant Week, including Brooklyn Chop House, The Fulton, Crown Shy, Stone Street Tavern, The Dead Rabbit and more.
The Restaurant Week website lists several more tempting options to treat yourself — even if it means playing it a little fast and loose with your commitments to fitness. (We won’t tell.)
On Thursday evening, Mayor Bill de Blasio, at his eighth (and final) State of the City address, announced that a dedicated bike lane would be coming to the Brooklyn Bridge (with another slated for the Ed Koch Bridge) before the end of this year.
“The Brooklyn Bridge and the Queensboro Bridge are iconic and deeply intertwined in the daily lives of countless New Yorkers,” Mr. de Blasio said.
On the 4th of February, 1555, the Council finally condemned Hooper to death by flame for supporting the rights of priests to marry and for defying the doctrine of transubstantiation
474 – Zeno is crowned as co-emperor of the Byzantine Empire. He was emperor from 474 until 491 CE.
1555 – Bishop of Gloucester John Hooper is burned at the stake.
1775 – American Revolutionary War: The British Parliament declares Massachusetts in rebellion.
1788 – The Habsburg Empire joins the Russo-Turkish War in the Russian camp.
1825 – After no candidate receives a majority of electoral votes in the US presidential election of 1824, the House of Representatives elects John Quincy Adams as President of the United States.
861 – American Civil War: Jefferson Davis is elected the Provisional President of the Confederate States of America by the Confederate convention at Montgomery, Alabama.
1913 – A group of meteors is visible across much of the eastern seaboard of North and South America, leading astronomers to conclude the source had been a small, short-lived natural satellite of the Earth.
1950 – Second Red Scare: US Senator Joseph McCarthy accuses the United States Department of State of being filled with Communists.
1964 – The Beatles make their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, performing before a “record-busting” audience of 73 million viewers.
1971 – Satchel Paige becomes the first Negro League player to be voted into the USA’s Baseball Hall of Fame.
1971 – Apollo program: Apollo 14 returns to Earth after the third manned Moon landing.
1996 – Copernicium Cn is first discovered. It is a synthetic chemical element with atomic number 112, whose known isotopes are extremely radioactive, and have only been created in a laboratory. The most stable known isotope, copernicium-285, has a half-life of approximately 28 seconds. (wiki)
1737 – Thomas Paine, English-American philosopher, author, and activist (d. 1809)
1773 – William Henry Harrison, 9th President of the United States (d. 1841)
1814 – Samuel J. Tilden, American lawyer and politician, 28th Governor of New York (d. 1886)
1846 – Wilhelm Maybach, German engineer and businessman, founded Maybach (d. 1929)
1909 – Carmen Miranda, Portuguese-Brazilian actress, singer, and dancer (d. 1955)
1909 – Dean Rusk, American colonel and politician, 54th United States Secretary of State (d. 1994)
1942 – Carole King, American singer-songwriter and pianist
1945 – Mia Farrow, American actress
1014 – Yang Yanzhao, Chinese general
1135 – Tai Zong, Chinese emperor (b. 1075)
1881 – Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, and philosopher (b. 1821)
1977 – Sergey Ilyushin, Russian engineer and businessman, founded the Ilyushin Design Company (b. 1894)
1984 – Yuri Andropov, Russian lawyer and politician (b. 1914)