Hevesi: There is No Need to Close Beacons

April 17, 2012

Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills), Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing), Council Member Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills), and Assemblywoman Grace Meng sent a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg this week detailing funds that could be used to keep open the city’s Beacon Programs. On March 30, 2012 the New York State Legislature passed a budget which increased New York City’s educational funding for the fiscal year by $292 million. The city had cited a budgetary shortfall of $2.1 million as their previous rational for the closing seven of the city’s Beacons, a program that has been widely popular among students and parents alike throughout all five boroughs. The budgetary language that dedicated these funds would make the centers eligible to receive a portion of the $292 million.

Assembly Member’s Hevesi and Meng, Council Member Koslowitz, and Senator Stavisky originally involved themselves in the closing of these Beacons due to a zip code formula that was used to determine which centers would be closed. Prior to the Legislature’s passage of a budget with increased funding, the officials were calling on the administration to allocate funding based upon each programs success.

“I was pleased to hear the Mayor state that he believed this year’s legislative session, was the best for the city in a decade,” Hevesi said. “Along with my colleagues, I fought hard to ensure more money was brought back down to the city to fund programs that keep our community thriving. It is my hope that the administration will do what is right for this city’s youth and use a portion of the additional $292 million in education funding to fund the Beacons targeted for closure.”