Mayor Eric Adams said Tuesday that parents might have to step up and volunteer to help keep Big Apple schools safe after hundreds of newly trained safety agents were cut as the cost of the migrant crisis continues to cripple the city.
“We’re going to be leaning into parents and parent groups to do some volunteerism,” Hizzoner said when asked about the new class of 250 school safety agents that were recently axed amid the city’s budget woes.
“We’re going to get to our crisis management team,” he continued during a weekly City Hall press conference. “We are going to be straining at a very high level to get this done correctly.”
His remarks came a day after Staten Island elected officials railed against the administration over the safety agent cuts — arguing that the massive spending on the migrant crisis was now undermining services to the city’s citizenry.
Hizzoner had already warned earlier this year that all city agencies might have to slash 15% from their budgets in response to the ever-growing costs of the migrant crisis, which he estimated will set the city back $12 billion over three fiscal years.
Adams had given all departments until this month to cut 5% from their budgets — and told them to brace for an additional two rounds, totaling another 10%, in the future.
Speaking about the looming budget cuts, the mayor dodged a question as to whether he was concerned for students’ safety in the wake of the new agents being canned.
Instead, he pointed to how New York City schools were absent of mass shootings.
“We are successful, unlike other municipalities, where they’re having shootings on school grounds in some cases of mass shootings,” Adams said during his briefing.
“We have not had one shooting inside our school because of the working school safety agents and New York City Police Department.”
He added that he was liaising with Schools Chancellor David Banks to “shift around personnel as much as possible” to ensure the safety of students.
“We do a revaluation on when we have the high need schools,” Adams said.
“We have to pull it all hands on deck moment but in my concern about that we’re going to drop and makes schools unsafe, I’m never going to allow that to happen.”
There are currently about 3,900 school safety agents working across Gotham’s public schools — 25% less than there were pre-pandemic.
Staten Island’s leaders on Monday had urged City Hall and the NYPD to reinstate the since-axed class of trained school safety agents, with Borough President Vito Fossella arguing they’ve been saying for months that the cost of housing migrants was unsustainable.
“About a year ago, as the migrant shelter migrant crisis began to unfold and we said then it would be ….unsustainable, and that sooner or later, hardworking people of this community would suffer. And they are [suffering],” Fossella said.
“If you want to spend $12 billion and continue to spend $12 billion on the migrant crisis, so be it but don’t take it from the hardworking people in Staten Island.”