The budget season hasn’t started yet, but the cuts are already coming. On Friday, November 18th the New York City Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the November Financial Plan which included the fiscal year 2012 and 2013 Programs to Eliminate the Gap (PEGs). Agencies and organizations had been notified earlier in the month of percentage targets of 2% for FY2012 and 6% for FY2013. In total Human Service agencies will see almost $114 million in additional cuts in FY2012, which will be enacted immediately and will look at $60 million in cuts in FY2013. The below table summarizes the PEG amounts by agency for each year/
|AGENCY||FY2012 PEG||FY2013 PEG|
|Department of Homeless Services||$2.2 million||$9.9 million|
|Department of Youth and Community Development||$4.16 million||$8.99 million|
|Department of Health and Mental Hygiene||$8.9 million||$23.5 million|
|Administration for Children and Families||$57.2 million||$7.9 million|
|Human Resources Administration (Department of Social Services)||$41.6 million||$10 million|
|Department for the Aging||$0||$0|
Many of the Human Service agencies made fewer programmatic cuts and were able to realize major savings through administrative cuts. Click here to review the full budget documents. The Department for the Aging (DFTA) was spared cuts this year and next. This is great news for senior centers and other services for the City’s aging population.
Youth and families will be hit the hardest by the additional round of cuts for 2012 and for the upcoming budget cycle in 2013. The Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) will sustain the biggest cuts to programs. Programs like Out of School Time (OST), Beacons and Cornerstone will see major reductions in service and availability of slots across the City. OST specifically, which provides a mix of academic, recreational and cultural activities for young people (grades K-12) after-school, during holidays and in the summer, is slowly being dismantled by continued cuts. OST has seen a 60% reduction in available slots since its inception in 2005. It has been proven that students enrolled in after-school programs show higher academic achievement than comparable students not in after-school programs. In addition to increasing student achievement, after-school programs also help decrease crime among juveniles during the times of 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm on school days.
Not only will children be impacted by the cuts to after-school programs, but whole families will feel the impact as well. Many parents rely on these programs to keep their children safe while they are at work. Parents will have to make hard choices about keeping jobs or paying for costly child care. The costs of child care can be so high that it often makes better economic sense for low-wage workers to forgo their jobs to stay home and care for their children. In addition, more than 5,000 workers in the field have lost jobs since cuts started in 1996 and another 200 are expected to lose their jobs based on the recent PEG.
All in all, the human services sector is again expected to sustain more dismantling cuts, especially for youth services. The sector cannot take much more. Show your support for Human Services and contact your New York State and City legislators to ensure the preservation of critical human services in your community. To locate your legislators click here.
Contributed by Shana Mosher of the Human Services Council