Youth Services Cuts, Citizenship Program Extension Proposed

The Mayor's preliminary budget for fiscal year 2000 includes a $19.7 million cut to youth services, a $5.8 million reduction in preventive services at Beacon schools, and a $3.7 million appropriation to extend the Citizenship NYC program for another year.

The proposed cuts to youth servicesare the largest since the fiscal year 1996 budget season. This year's preliminary budget calls for removing all $8.5 million in city funds from the Youth Development and Delinquency Program (YDDP) the program, which is administered through the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), is the primary funding source for youth contract services. The program receives funding from both the city and state. The city is not required to match state funds and, under the proposal, $10.5 million in state funds would remain in the DYCD budget for YDDP. The administration has not explained how or if the state funds would be spent. Current YDDP contracts will end July 1st.

Additional cuts to youth services include $5.6 million for council member and borough president discretionary funds and $5.0 million for an after school program (known as After Three) initiated this year.

The Mayor has also proposed cutting $5.8 million in funds for preventive services such as family support services and parenting education at Beacon schools. Beacons, which are after school programs for children run through public schools, are also administered by DYCD. Funds for preventive services are transferred to DYCD from the Adminstration for Children's Services. The Giuliani administration contends that it will seek to increase state support for this program through the state's Family and Children's Services block grant. Unfortunately, the Governor has already proposed to increase the block grant by only $15 million statewide next year. With this increase, it is doubtful whether NYC's share of the block grant would be sufficient to re-fund these services as well as meet other unmet child welfare needs.

Finally, the Mayor has proposed to fully fund the Citizenship NYC program for fiscal year 2000. Subject to yearly appropriation, the program which began in July 1997 prepares immigrants for U.S. citizenship. It is expected to serve about 13,000 people-11 percent of the city's 94,000 immigrants who are likely to be eligible for citizenship next year.